November '15

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54 The Shop November 2015 performance Snow Performance Woodland Park, Colorado Matt Snow President How is new vehicle technology affecting the Street Performance market? The trend toward smaller turbocharged, direct-injected engines has created a whole new segment of enthusiasts. For relatively little money, one can add 40-90 hp. On a Ford EcoBoost, for example, we have seen over 80 hp with a mild tune along with water-methanol to cool the air charge and add octane. These vehicles come with closed-loop knock control for safety—a tuner's dream. Also, tuning has become more sophisti- cated. The complexity of vehicle computers is getting crazy. Now, in order to adjust a basic parameter, five tables have to be adjusted correctly or a "comparator" will cause the change not to take effect. How has the Street Performance market changed over the past 10 years? Certainly, the modern muscle cars—new Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Chal- lengers and Chargers—have caused a resur- gence in the performance aftermarket. The buyers of these cars are very enthusiastic about personalizing and improving per- formance, and they typically have discre- tionary income. What are some common traits that typ- ical Street Performance customers share? They are typically very loyal to their vehicle brand—kind of like in the early 1970s. You were either a Chevy, Mopar or Ford guy and there was no mixing. Also, with the Internet, there is instant info on what's good and accepted for their vehicle in terms of mods—they have an idea of what they want and are relying on the shop expert to refine for them so they don't waste money. What advice do you have for shops looking to increase their Street Perfor- mance business? We see a trend of specializing—become a recognized expert in one or two of the popular vehicles. All the owners of that vehicle flock to the expert in their area. For marketing, dyno shootouts and car shows are a great way to connect. Also, becoming an "expert" on that vehicle make's forums is a good way to establish a shop as "the place to go." Why is now a good time for shops to increase their Street Performance offer- ings? After going through the '60s and '70s per- formance "golden age," we are in another golden age with the OEM offerings, the large performance aftermarket, the need to modify/personalize to get recognition in an increasingly invalidating world, and the seemingly thriving economy. The enthusiast is going to spend money on modifications. Eibach Corona, California Oliver Rathlein VP Sales & Marketing How is new vehicle technology affecting the Street Performance market? From the suspension side, we need to engi- neer our performance suspension kits to work with today's stability software. This will get tougher and tougher, as cars and trucks get more and more sophisticated. Road REPoRt The performance market is enjoying another golden age. (Photo courtesy Snow Performance) Shops that become the local "expert" can at- tract loyal customers. (Photo courtesy Snow Performance)

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