SEMA’s Support of Dealers Makes Headlines

SEMA News - July 2009

SEMA has long recognized the potential business opportunities that the accessories market brings to dealers. The industry has caught on to this notion over the past few years, and the media have been instrumental in communicating this opportunity to the dealer community.

Particularly noteworthy are reports on the programs that highlight tangible resources available to help dealers tap into the automotive accessories market. Two programs—Dealer Day and ProPledge—were launched by SEMA to help dealers profit from the relatively untapped accessory market.

Dealer Day was launched at the SEMA Show in 2008, with the help of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), to offer dealers tools, ideas and resources on how to incorporate successful accessory programs at their dealerships. NADA members were invited to this innovative half-day event at the SEMA Show, where they were treated to a number of exclusive presentations, seminars and activities.

In 2007, an auto accessory warranty program known as ProPledge debuted. ProPledge is administered by the SEMA subsidiary, Specialty Equipment Warranty Alliance (SEWA). The idea is to help dealers and consumers purchase specialty-equipment market accessory products with confidence. With the cooperation of SEMA manufacturers and professional installers, this value-added program offers a uniform industry-backed warranty that gives peace of mind to consumers.

Here are just a few of the articles that reported on Dealer Day and the ProPledge program. If you haven’t read these articles or if you missed them, check them out. They are must reads.

 SEMA NEWS-JULY 2009-REQUIRED READING

Ward’s Dealer Business, December 2008
“SEMA Show Attracts Dealers”

According to this article, SEMA paid attention to dealer needs, and the dealers truly benefited. They learned tangible strategies and heard success stories of those already in the accessory market. One keynote speaker, Tom Rudnai, president of Longo Toyota in El Monte, California, outlined the do’s and don’ts for dealers looking to get into the accessory market. Derek Adolf of the seven-franchise Continental Auto Group, sent his parts managers to the SEMA Show to showcase a variety of available products for cars and trucks that dealerships could potentially sell. Adolf spoke of his success at the previous year’s Show, when he contracted a deal with a major tire manufacturing company. Like Adolf, dealers who attended Dealer Day were able to make connections of their own. Check out the Ward’s Dealer Business website to read this article.



SEMA NEWS-JULY 2009-REQUIRED READING 

Fixed Ops Magazine, October 2008
“SEMA Show 2008: Discovering a World of New Profit Opportunities”

“Now more than ever, dealers have to keep their eyes open for new and creative strategies to make more money,” according to the October edition of Fixed Ops Magazine. The accessory sales industry remains vibrant. According to this article, “style-conscious consumers willing to pay a premium for personalized vehicles, typically spend as much as $1,000–3,500 to customize their new vehicle after the sale.” This is money that could have been spent at the dealership. Dealers must be ready to find new and creative ways to increase sales revenue. To continue with the success of last year’s event, SEMA will hold Dealer Day again at SEMA Show 2009. To find this article and many more, visit the Fixed Ops Magazine website.



 SEMA NEWS-JULY 2009-REQUIRED READING

Specialty Automotive Magazine,
March/April 2009
“Auto Accessory Warranty Program Available”

This article discussed the importance of the ProPledge program administered by SEWA. ProPledge started as a pilot program in 2007. The pilot ended after 18 months with approximately 12,000 warranted product installations and zero claims. ProPledge is designed to increase the sale of specialty automotive products through new-car dealers. The program offers dealers valuable marketing tools to sell specialty-equipment market products and will help dealers boost profits. Once the pilot proved to be successful, ProPledge was officially rolled out nationwide in January 2009. To see a list of participating manufacturers and installers or for more information visit ProPledge.



 SEMA NEWS-JULY 2009-REQUIRED READING 

Mobile Electronics, November 2008
“What’s Going On: Making a Case for SEMA”

While SEMA offers many educational programs, Dealer Day was important with helping dealers enter the restyling industry. Participating dealers had the opportunity to meet directly with experts who shared real-world case studies. This article explained that, along with the challenges of starting an accessory program, there are many opportunities to advance and SEMA is there to help build a bridge between dealers and manufacturers. According to Mobile Electronics, one piece of the puzzle is to understand what challenges may come; it’s an entirely different thing to know where the opportunities are. Dealers have the opportunity to increase revenue by tapping into the accessory market. Dealer Day is just one example of how SEMA builds relationships with dealers and the members of the accessory specialty-equipment market.