SEMA News - June 2010

Benefits of Being Auto Trim of Denver Backed by ProPledge

  SEMA News-June 2010-ProPledge  
   
In the April issue, we ran an extended look at what the ProPledge warranty assurance program is and how it can benefit member companies. Part of the ongoing development of the program is to profile its existing members as well as those that see the value and benefits of what ProPledge can offer. The goals set forth with a program such as ProPledge are to grow and learn from its current membership roster so that it may be of benefit to future ProPledge partners. For a detailed analysis of ProPledge and its benefits to nearly every SEMA-member company, visit the ProPledge website, or call 818/248-4449 for more information.  SEMA News recently had the opportunity to discuss ProPledge with one of its current restylers, Josh Elliott of Auto Trim of
Denver
(ATD).

SEMA News: What has the ProPledge warranty assurance program meant to your business?

Josh Elliott: The ProPledge warranty assurance program has been fantastic for us. It has made all the difference in the world in us getting additional dealership work because so many dealers are now requiring additional forms of insurance to protect themselves against inferior aftermarket products.

SN: Why can’t your competitors just purchase additional insurance to satisfy the dealers’ requirements?

JE: In theory, our competitors could, but we feel that the ProPledge program shows good faith to the dealers and that we want to participate at the highest level possible. There is an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) requirement in the ProPledge contract that provides another way for us to separate ourselves from our competitors. It gives us more credibility and levels the playing field with our mechanics, who are also ASE certified.

SN: So the ProPledge program requires an ASE-certified technician?

JE: Yes, it does, and it is just one more component in a very good program that makes it more difficult for our competitors to compete with us at the highest level.

SN: Is it true that the $5 million general liability insurance policy has been difficult to meet for many restylers or installers?

JE: It might be for some, but I point out that it makes all the difference in the world between a truly reputable and professional restyler and those merely going through the motions of getting the job. Personally, we welcome the additional insurance requirements.

SN: What success stories can you and ATD tell us regarding ProPledge?

JE: With the three-year/36,000-mile warranty, we have been able to effectively show new-car dealers how to maximize their profits from lease turn-in vehicles. When those vehicles come back into the dealership, a dealer will typically wholesale the vehicle to get it out of its inventory. The dealer might make a profit or might break even. With the added protection of the three-year/36,000-mile warranty, and the fact ProPledge covers up to three model years and older vehicles, the dealer can effectively install some aftermarket products, refresh the vehicle and turn a far greater profit than it could before.

  SEMA News-June 2010-ProPledge 
 

ATD professionally restyles more than 6,000 vehicles annually. Popular products installed include sunroofs, leather/seat heaters, 12-volt accessories, window tint and clear vinyl masks.  

   
SN: What trends do you see on the horizon?


JE: We have definitely picked up a lot of business in the used-car market. With new-vehicle sales way down from years past, that three-year/36,000-mile warranty has made a great difference to us in the used-car market. Three years ago, we used to do approximately 90% new-car installations and 10% used. Now we do about 70% new-car work and 30% used, and I expect that used number to grow an additional 10%–15% this year alone.

SN: Besides the used-car market, what other areas have increased?

JE: The 12-volt business is definitely growing every year. We do a lot of head-unit replacements and a ton of navigation installations, primarily with Rosen and Audiovox.

SN: What has been ATD’s greatest success story in its current business model?

JE: It has been the employees of ATD. These people make all the difference between a great job and a mediocre job. These individuals have a true passion for the industry and are always willing to go above and beyond what it takes to have a professional job accomplished in a timely fashion to satisfy our customers’ needs.

SN: What do you like to do outside of this industry, Josh?

JE: My wife of 17 years and I love to ride motocross and play golf when we have the time.  

For more information regarding Auto Trim of Denver, call 303/451-8311 or visit www.autotrimofdenver.com.  

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