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Pandemic Effect on Accessory Opportunity?

*This article previously appeared in the Reynolds and Reynolds FUEL monthly newsletter*

By Raymond Desadier

As scholars ponder the future of the automotive industry, those within its ranks are concerned with the impact it will have on all facets of the business. One profit center the COVID-19 pandemic may not have an adverse effect on is accessory sales.

The market for accessory sales has actually improved when you consider the following variables:

0% financing – Several OEMs are offering zero percent financing for anywhere between 60 to 84 months. Why take on the cost of accessories elsewhere when you can add it to your monthly car installment and pay it out over several years for no additional cost?

Inventory Issues – As inventory shrinks due to production slowdowns, accessories are a way for customers to make sure they get all the features they want in their new vehicle.  Upgraded wheels, chrome inserts, infotainment systems, and hitches are common trim upgrades that can now be accessory opportunities for you.

Trucks Are Still Big – Pickup sales have held strong amongst the pandemic, dropping only 18.7% compared to SUVs falling 36.6%. Trucks are by far the biggest accessory opportunity with so many modifications and add-ons available. Make sure you have a full catalog of accessories to offer your truck customers.

Increased Accessory Budget – Many consumers in the market for a car are likely to be in a stronger financial position now than pre-pandemic. Between stimulus checks, lower expenses, and no opportunities to spend money on entertainment, many have disposable income that wasn’t there previously. In fact, we are at the highest personal savings rates since the 1980s. Now is the time to present accessory options to every customer.

Increased Value of “One-Stop Shopping” – Convenience has become more important than ever as consumers have become accustomed to home deliveries or easy street-side pick-up. The demand for safety and convenience carries over to other purchases as well. Your customers will stick with you if they can get all their vehicle needs from one visit.

Increased Value of Accessories – Some accessories are now even more valuable. Keeping your vehicle clean is top of mind for consumers; all-weather mats are easily hosed down and seat covers can be washed regularly. Storage compartments are perfect for containing extra masks or sanitation supplies. But also, accessories that inspire fun – like spoilers, suspension, and roof racks, have also increased in value. Now that people have to make their own fun, they may turn to their personal vehicle.

There is no better time to rethink your accessory strategy and adapt to the current environment. Make sure you’re ready to take advantage of this lucrative market with a vetted digital solution.

About the Author

Raymond began his career in the automotive industry in 2001. He joined the Reynolds Consulting Services team 15 years later as an accessories business consultant. He has established accessory departments in many dealerships and has helped them thrive with training and recommendations.

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