How do the better dealers cater to their customer base?
Fitch: By stocking accessories that the consumers can see, versus just viewing them on the Internet.
Kramer: Like any other product, it’s about showing the customer what’s available and offering the best customer service. Car dealerships have fully accessorized cars and trucks in the showroom, so why not provide the same options in motorcycle dealerships for bikes and UTVs?
"The dealers that take the time to put the product on display and install on the vehicle sell a lot more than the ones that wait for a customer to come in and ask for the product."
-- Fred Brayton, Pro Armor
Brayton: Definitely need to put them on the vehicles so the customer can see how the products transform the vehicle. We all like to see, feel and touch the product we want to purchase. The dealers that take the time to put the product on display and install on the vehicle sell a lot more than the ones that wait for a customer to come in and ask for the product.
Webber: Have products pre-installed onto units and have backup inventory. For machines that are being sold by the dealers, our opportunity is in targeted accessories such as fuel storage systems, windshields, roofs, utility grips/carriers and either textile or molded luggage/storage boxes. Additionally, seasonal accessories such as snow plows, winches, ice auger carriers and salt spreaders contribute to making the vehicle a year-round performer.
So, what are the biggest trends in the aftermarket?
Fitch: Adding tops, windshields, mirrors, stereo systems, tires, and wheels for UTVs. ATV customers are adding trunks, soft luggage, drop racks, armor, and tires and wheels.
Brayton: Doors, harnesses, roll cages, ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) plastics, tire and wheel combos, and suspension.
Webber: The focus is more on comfort and convenience. Dealers do very well with windshields, roofs, audio systems and storage items. We believe the market is upgrading from a basic utility function to include more universal and luxurious options, much like what the automotive markets have done through the years. Power steering, deluxe wheels, consoles, winch options, windshields, roofs and paint options — all are parallel with what has happened in the automotive industry.
Ginn: [There is a] demand to maintain a factory-looking style for aftermarket parts/accessories. People do not want aftermarket items to stand out and be gaudy. They would rather them coincide and mesh with their production-based setup.
Webber: The advent of the flash drive and MP3 format allows a lot of music to be stored on a small device, and played without skipping like a CD. Marine-quality audio units are small, weatherproof and can withstand the harsh environment in which an ATV or UTV is operated. Sirius Satellite radio allows weather and other bands to be received in areas that typically have poor reception, and offer a high degree of confidence for those exploring open areas. Audio systems are being used in many arenas, including farm/ag, recreation and hunting due to the diverse selection of music, weather and news offered.