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Make the max of accessories

Dealers could be losing out on as much as £340 extra revenue per car from failing to capitalise on a customer’s desire for vehicle accessories and modifying components.

A huge market for products ranging from alloy wheels to upgraded stereo equipment – principally in the supermini sectors favoured by younger drivers – still remains to be tapped by service and repair workshops.

That’s the message from Lee Dickinson, consultant and former general manager of aftersales at Toyota, speaking at the AM Aftermarket Conference.

According to his own figures, the national average extra revenue generated from accessories is £200 per car, however more successful dealers are making £340 extra on average per sale.

He encourages dealerships to dress vehicles inside showrooms with a selection of the accessories available, such as roof boxes, headlight protectors and mud flaps, and use a ‘silent salesman’ display board to provide key information.

“This is where the action is. You have no end of opportunities to do better with accessory sales. Look at ICE, DVD-players and alloy wheels, in terms of margins these are very attractive places to start,” he says.

Further income could come from aftermarket sat-nav, speed detectors or even selling and fitting styling products, where fully fitted rates range from £70 to £3,000 for complete bodykits, says Dickinson.

Research by AM’s sister magazine Max Power, the UK’s leading modifying title, has shown that on average young drivers spend more than £2,000 on aftermarket parts for their cars after purchase.

Simple changes are the most popular, such as alloy wheels, air filters, ICE and exhaust system.

Dickinson says high-performers in this sector analyse their customers’ lifestyle in order to align the most suitable accessories with them. He urges retailers to set a combined target for the sales and service departments in order to make accessories part of their core business.

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