November '15

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38 The Shop November 2015 ReSTyling/AfTeRmARkeT AcceSSoRieS f or those who live where the temperature is in the single digits or below more often than not, having the luxury of heated seats is a technological blessing! But, even in the vast majority of the U.S., where evening temperatures usually dip into the 60s and 50s—even during the summer—the comfort of a controlled tem- perature setting while driving or riding in a vehicle is equally rewarding. Underneath those leather or cloth seats in any vehicle is where the opportunity lies to "heat up" your shop's profits. SHOP OPPORTUNITIES When they purchase a new vehicle, today's drivers desire (and expect) the comfort and convenience that seat heaters provide. Though most high- end luxury vehicles c o m e s t a n d a r d with heated seats, a majority of new vehicles only offer them as an option. Or, depending on the vehicle, heated seats may not even be available at certain trim levels. This provides installation shops an opportunity to increase their profits while meeting the demands of consumers. Seat heaters have an attractive profit margin that your shop should be capturing if it is not already. Quality parts are affordable and with minimal labor time needed for the install, the gross profit can exceed 75 percent. With an average retail installed price of $300 per seat and less than $100 in parts and labor, it can be one of the most profitable products a shop can offer. If your shop is not already installing seat heaters, it is definitely something that deserves another look. TURN UP THE SUMMERTIME HEAT For restylers in the upper Midwest, this product category ranks extremely high when discussing profit opportunities. In our Minnesota shop's case, seat heaters keep our installation bays busy, whether it's an upgrade to a leather interior or as a standalone accessory. And it's not just a wintertime opportunity. Although sales are brisk November through March, the sales cycle will run all year. I find it interesting that car and truck buyers who purchase vehicles from late spring through early fall tend to forget what the other half of the year will be like in their commute. We take advantage of our new and used vehicle dealer relationships by educating them about how to capture the sale at the time of the vehicle purchase. Often, with a new vehicle, the consumer pays less than $10 per month for a pair of heated front seats. But aftermarket seat heaters can save those consumers thousands of dol- lars by not jumping to a high-end trim level in order to o b t a i n t h e s e a t luxury they desire. We remind our wholesale accounts that selling heated seats—even in the peak of summer— will reward them with a happy customer all year round. HOT SEAT SUPPLIES As the technology has matured in the his- tory of heated seat elements and electronic components, aftermarket heated seat sys- tems have evolved into a reliable, safe acces- sory when properly installed. Selecting quality component products when choosing an aftermarket supplier is the essential first step. Advanced carbon fiber heating technology has made it pos- sible to provide even, consistent and con- trolled warmth throughout the seat back and lower cushion. We prefer carbon fiber technology to not only provide a reliable and safe customer experience and consistent warmth, but also to simplify the installation process. With carbon fiber, we can provide the maximum heating surface area for each seat, because it can be trimmed and notched to accom- modate the listings of any seat design. Additionally, using a universal product avoids having to maintain excessive inventory. on The hoT SeAT Heated seats are in demand for drivers who want cruising comfort. By Dino Perfetti Seat foam structure is similar in many vehicles, but some do require heat- ing element modifications. 877.769.3765

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