Restyling

April '12

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BODYSTYLE WHEEL ACCESSORIES REV UP YOUR WHEEL ACCESSORY SALES Customers seek wheel skins, spinners, caliper covers and more … so tap into their sales. OUR EXPERT PANEL Here are the "pit crew" experts who participated in our virtual roundtable discussion on wheel accessories: Mike Barland MGP Caliper Covers Chula Vista, Calif. Andrew Liu White Knight Wheel Accessories Norwalk, Calif. Kurt Kruse Coast to Coast International Tampa, Fla. Aaron Fowles Pacifi c Rim and Trim International Phoenix 32 RESTYLING | APRIL 2012 hen restyling enthusiasts decide to customize their vehicles, they often look at the wheels as one of the most visible ways to enhance their rides. In fact, several experts we interviewed say wheel accessories are often the fi rst upgrade a cus- tomer will make on his or her new vehicle. One expert says more than three-quarters of wheel accessory product sales are at the car dealer level. But restyling shops that aggres- sively promote wheel accessories can still attract a good portion of that market. Although customizers tend to skew W younger and be predominately male, don't neglect the growing female market. Women are starting to spend more on wheels and wheel accessories says at least one wheel accessory company. There's no average spending pattern for wheel and accessory purchases. Experts were all over the board, saying spending ranges anywhere from $20 to $2,500 depending on the wheels or accessories purchased and the customer's budget. "Our products are an alternative for a cus- Aftermarket wheels are one of the fi rst upgrades new-car owners look to purchase, says MGP Caliper Covers' Bar- land. That's good news for companies in the wheel and wheel accessory business. For MGP, the market trend has been strong with domestic cars and trucks — and European models aren't far behind. Female customers should not be ignored, as MGP watched the sales volume in this demo- graphic grow each and every year. By Phil Sasso tomer that can't afford to put on a set of new chrome wheels," says Aaron Fowles of Pacifi c Rim and Trim. "Our price range is anywhere from $80 to $200." If there is one thing our experts agreed on, it's that most restyling shops haven't begun to tap the full potential of the wheel accessory market. Who is buying wheels and wheel acces- sories today and why? Liu: The consumer in wheel accessories is male-dominated. The majority of the demand will continue to come from con- sumers looking to replace their OEM wheels/tires with aftermarket wheels/tires. Barland: Aftermarket wheels are one of the fi rst upgrades new-car owners look to pur- chase. That's good news for companies in the wheel and wheel accessory business. For MGP Caliper Covers, the market trend has been strong with domestic cars and trucks — and European models are not very far behind. Female customers should not be ignored, as RESTYLINGMAG.COM

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