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Auto Accessory Warranty Program Begins Nationwide Rollout

ProPledge™, the ground-breaking warranty assurance initiative designed to increase sales of specialty auto products through new-car dealers, has concluded its extensive testing phase and begins rolling out nationwide in January 2009.

The Pilot Program began in 2007 and was test marketed in a dozen key regions around the country. It is administered by the Specialty Equipment Warranty Alliance (SEWA), a subsidiary of the SEMA, and includes SEMA-member accessory manufacturers and professional installers working together to offer customers a standardized, uniform warranty that covers defects in products and installation for a minimum of 36 months/36,000 miles.

The Pilot Program concluded after 18 months and includes approximately 12,000 warranted product installations without a single claim.

“The ProPledge™ Pilot Program was more successful than we could have ever imagined,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “The results send a powerful message that the industry stands behind its products and services and gives both auto dealers and consumers confidence and peace-of-mind in their decision to personalize and customize their vehicles.”

ProPledge™ includes protection to dealers and consumers in the event that a product or installation defect results in the denial of a vehicle warranty claim. It includes parts and labor, repair or a replacement at no cost to the customer. Additionally, ProPledge™ alleviates concerns over liability coverage for vehicle dealers through inclusion in installer and manufacturer liability policies.

A Customer Service Center provides assistance to dealers and their customers in instances when a new-vehicle warranty is denied as the result of a defect in the product or faulty installation.

“With more and more consumers wanting to personalize their vehicles, ProPledge™ offers auto dealers a valuable marketing tool to sell accessories with complete confidence and significantly boost gross profits,” said Ellen McKoy, executive director of SEWA.

“The potential revenue source,” McKoy adds, “is particularly appealing to auto dealers in today’s down market.”

The national rollout begins in January 2009 and takes place in phases over the next 12 months, with two dozen major cities targeted in the initial phase. Cities include Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco.

For a complete list of participating manufacturers and installers or information about ProPledge, visit www.propledge.com or e-mail sewa@propledge.com.