SEMA News - December 2009


SEMA NEWS-DECEMBER 2009-CHRIS KERSTINGOpportunity. Diversity. Confidence. Profits. Those are a few of the keys that lock in the continuing partnership between the automakers, the vehicle dealers and SEMA-member companies. Giving consumers the right vehicles with their preferred options is what each arm of the distribution chain strives for.

One huge chunk of that process is accessory-friendly vehicles—cars and trucks that are designed from the get-go to encourage owner personalization. A driver’s experience with a car or truck skyrockets when he or she can equip it to suit personal wants and needs. When that owner can buy the vehicle and select from a vast array of specialty-equipment accessories and have them professionally installed with complete confidence, another sales channel opens.

ProPledge opens that channel.

SEMA has been working on the ProPledge warranty assurance program for about three years. With the completion of a successful pilot program, ProPledge is now poised for a national roll-out. The program provides end users with a 36-month/36,000-mile warranty on participating products and installation. And now, further enhancing the program for automakers, dealerships, specialty-equipment manufacturers and independent restyling companies, SEMA has partnered with Insignia, an industry-leading provider of accessory sales tools.

The ProPledge/Insignia combination is a match made in heaven for vehicle dealers. Insignia provides training, integrated catalogs and a depth of information that allows sales people to present accessory opportunities with confidence at the time a vehicle is sold. The Insignia program integrates the process from the dealership’s showroom floor to the finance and insurance department, and it offers communication links that include the dealership’s online efforts and even its parts counter. The sales team is equipped with not only the latest information about accessories for each vehicle, but also the ProPledge accessory warranty.

And, speaking of installation, Insignia also offers a program tailored specifically for restylers and independent installers who work with vehicle dealerships. Insignia helps restylers develop a portfolio of products that are available online, giving the dealer an easy-to-use system from which to purchase products. The dealership can also integrate the restyler’s accessories into its own catalog or website, providing direct-to-consumer information and an end-to-end accessory-sales solution for its customers—all of it covered by ProPledge.

The success of the recent Dealer Day program and the tens of thousands of products on display at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas illustrate the staggering potential for additional business in every vehicle segment. The unique ProPledge/Insignia solution allows the industry to leap over a pair of the traditional hurdles to accessory sales: warranty concerns and customer satisfaction scores. A complete sales team—one that combines OEMs, dealerships and SEMA members—can now provide customers with top-notch vehicles equipped precisely the way customers want them with the confidence of a nationally recognized long-term warranty.

Check it out for yourself. It’s as easy as a few mouse clicks or a phone call. For dealership, installer or accessory manufacturer information about ProPledge, visit www.ProPledge.com or call 818/248-4449.

For more information about Insignia, visit www.insigniagroup.com or call 888/579-4458.

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