July '16

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44 THE SHOP JULY 2016 RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES "A lot of those kids require trucks because they have horses or they do a lot of trailering—things you would need a heavier truck for," she says. "So they've got their truck and now they want to spruce it up. Now it's become popular with a lot of kids; it's become the in thing." With little concern for running into an animal, grille guards are a little rarer in that part of Florida. But an aggressive- looking front end—a heavy-duty bumper with a built-in winch, and a way to add light bars—seems to be the hot item, at least for now. Hair sees the trend going toward grilles with incorporated LED lights. "Most customers are looking for upgrades in appearance and lighting; those are the drivers today. Consumers usually choose to make changes or upgrade the grille mainly after the sale rather than it being a main upgrade at the dealership level." Katz agrees. "It definitely leads into additional add-on sales such as lights and winches. Lights would be the big thing, because typically most of them have addi- tional mounting points for auxiliary lighting, whether it's in the bumper or on the grille guard itself or the push bar itself, so it's a perfect opportunity to add LED lighting." "LEDs look good and are flashy, but in rural areas, people need visibility," notes Burnsworth. "That population is really concerned with hitting an animal. They're concerned with how heavy-duty the com- ponents are because they live in areas where they go out and do things in the outdoors and they've hit an animal before. And as much damage as the white tail deer can do to a vehicle in Texas, up north, Canadians are exponentially more serious about what might happen if they hit a moose." ALSO RAN Few if any vehicle owners simply upgrade their grille or front bumper; there seems to always be associated items that are purchased at the same time. For example, some front replacements add a lot of extra weight to a stock vehicle, so a leveling kit will help bring the front end back up to its natural state. UP FRONT UP FRONT PERSONAL PERSONAL UP FRONT UP FRONT PERSONAL PERSONAL & & UP FRONT & UP FRONT & & UP FRONT & UP FRONT (Photo courtesy Sarasota Ford)

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