November '15

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November 2015 The Shop 53 performance growing as a whole. I attribute this to the fact that there hasn't been a carbu- reted vehicle produced in the mainstream market since 1987. Fewer and fewer installers have carburetor experience, while more and more of them have experience with EFI. Beyond that, newer technology like drive-by-wire throttle bodies, variable valve timing and so on are being put to use in the Street Performance market. How has the Street Performance market changed over the past 10 years? There are bigger engines and more horsepower, but the customers now expect good manners, or drivability from their powertrain as well. What are some common traits that typical Street Performance customers share? The typical Street Performance customer drives his or her hot rod, sometimes daily. Many of them have different definitions of performance or different goals for their vehicle, but trailer queens that just idle around the fairgrounds are out. What advice do you have for shops looking to increase their Street Perfor- mance business? Education, education, education! Many man- ufacturers, like FAST, offer different levels of training for installers and end-users. The more your sales staff or counterperson knows about the technology, the more confident they will be to sell it and the more confidence they will instill in the buyer. This equals sales dollars. Also, develop a relationship with a tech- nical support person at your manufacturer of choice who can be a lifeline for technical and application questions. Why is now a good time for shops to increase their Street Performance offerings? There are more buyers out there driving their cars. They get bored with the per- formance and want to upgrade. The Street Performance market has become as much about the lifestyle as it is about the vehicles. I believe this has driven a whole new segment of enthusiast who did not have the benefit of growing up in the garage like a lot of us did. It is new blood in our industry, but this new blood wants the latest technology. It is indeed a great time to be in the Street Performance industry.

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