April '17

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APRIL 2017 THE SHOP 33 RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES S ome of the product areas restyling shops will be getting quizzed on this year are the many versions of cap- and tonneau-top accessories, for any number of items ranging from bicycles to skis to ladders to toolboxes to full expedi- tion outfitting. For restyling shops, when it comes to cap and tonneau accessories, it's a matter of staying a step ahead of the curve. We asked a few shops in different parts of the U.S. how they keep up with this part of the business, and what's hot in their neck of the woods. THE SHOP: What truck makes/models are most popular for adding caps/tonneaus? Brand-new or used? BURNS SMITH Custom Trucks, Huntsville, Alabama: Chevy, Ford and the Tundra half-tons are the most popular. We have a Toyota engine manufacturing plant right down the road, so Toyota sales are pretty strong here; and we're right by the Chevy and Ford store. I just spoke to a guy with a 2000 model year. We do go back on some previous models/ styles, but 90-percent are brand-new trucks. TAMARA FAIRCLOTH LINE-X of Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee: It's definitely the F-150, then the Chevy/ GMC. Maybe 10-percent more Fords. We get a mix of new and used, but I'd say 75 percent are new, and if they're used, they're not very used—maybe just a few years old. MIKE GHERARDI Auto Image, Plainwell, Michigan: It's pretty much across the board. We see a little bit bigger market in the full-size trucks, but that's because the overall full- size truck market is bigger. Basically, you've got the Ranger on hold right now—they didn't even build one in 2017. The Colo- The hottest new accessories for the truck segment are the gadgets and contraptions for the back end—where convenience is the stepchild of utility and pragmatism. B AC K ON TOP Truck owners en- joy the versatil- ity that cap and tonneau acces- sories supply. (Photo courtesy UnderCover) Installation of a LEER cap with the LEER Locker, in progress at Custom Trucks Alabama. (Photo courtesy Custom Trucks)

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