Truck, SUV & Off-Road Products
New Gear From the SEMA Show
The Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road section of the 2014 SEMA Show was dedicated to products engineered to tackle life’s harshest, and most exciting, terrain. For buyers who understand their customer’s passionate desire to shift into four-wheel drive, exhibitors unveiled hundreds of new SKUs with items ranging from tonneau covers and bedliners to toolboxes, trailer hitches and suspensions.
The truck segment showed significant growth at the 2014 SEMA Show. The ’14/’15 Chevrolet Silverado was named the Show’s Hottest Truck in the annual SEMA Awards, which honor vehicles most often featured by exhibitors in their booths. Once again, the Jeep Wrangler also reigned supreme as the Show’s Hottest 4x4-SUV. In the New Products Showcase, the trophy for Best New Off-Road/4- Wheel Drive Product went to Bubba Rope for its new Gator-Jaw Soft Shackle. Runner-Ups included Factor 55 for the ProLink Bridle and Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge for the Exo Top soft top and cargo rack system.
The following pages feature new Truck, SUV & Off-Road applications that debuted at the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Along with the products, we’ve interviewed several industry executives for their perspectives on current trends, along with advice for selling into the category.
Design Engineering Inc.
Battery box heat shield kit for ’12–’15 Jeep JKs. Protects the battery box and wire harness from the damaging effects
Vision X Lighting
Aftermarket fog-light solution for ’99–’14 Ford Super Duty trucks. Easily add up to four times the light output of the factory lights without having to drill any holes. The lights and brackets bolt directly in place of the factory lights for easy installation. Maintain factory appearance with flush mount.
Specialty Products Co.
A set of Jeep JK suspension arms with adjustable front and rear uppers/fixed front and rear lowers. Add strength, on-car adjustability and articulation flexibility to stock-height or lifted suspensions. The arms feature SPC’s xAxis sealed flex joints to provide bind-free twist between the frame and axle during
The ’03–’06 GM truck and SUV steering-wheel switches with LED lighting. Complete set of replacement buttons for steering-wheel controls. Buttons/controls include seek, volume, info, select, trip, fuel, source, program and hands free. Features: Fits most GM trucks and SUVs, easy to install, new LED lighting.
Diamond Eye Performance
A 2.5-in., aluminized, mandrel-bent crossover pipe for ’93–’00 Chevy 6.5L diesels, providing increased performance and flow. Two-piece design allows for lateral flexibility in
Specialty Products Co.
This adjustable hex-shaped sleeve replaces the round tie-rod sleeve on Jeep JKs to assure ease of adjustment without slippage. Recommended when the existing sleeve is damaged or when replacing a tie-rod end for easy adjustment.
E dgeliner custom floor liners for newer trucks and SUVs. Laser measured for a custom fit. Designed with the deepest sculpted channels and guaranteed OEM compatible.
Hellwig Products Co. Inc.
Hellwig manufactures its front sway bar for the new ’15 Ford F-150 out of heat-treated chromoly steel in its California factory. The increased rate from the 1½-in.- diameter sway bar controls body roll and improves cornering both in everyday driving and in tow/haul conditions. It also helps in lifted applications with higher centers of gravity.
LED corner step for ’14 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Five functions include red LED running, brake, right turn, left turn and white LED reverse. OE replacement. Easy installation. Added safety. High-intensity HIL-LED technology.
The ’14–’15 GMC Sierra light bar projection headlights, black.
BD Diesel Performance
Electronic controls for presetting diesel
BD Diesel Performance
Black powdercoated heavy-duty aluminum differential pans with cooling fins and service ports. For Dodge, Ford and Chevy pickups.
Quickly corrects speedometer/odometer when tire sizes or gear ratios are changed. Easy to update and upgrade online anytime. No cutting; factory-style connectors.
BD Diesel Performance
Electronic controls that improve throttle sensitivity on most diesel- and gas-powered Dodge, Ford and Chevy pickups.
Snow Performance Inc.
New 10-gallon water-methanol injection toolbox-style reservoir designed to mount in the void space in the bed of a standard pickup. Features include reinforced thick-wall poly construction, large filler cap and anti-slosh sumped design. Easily hangs from a bed-rail mounting to keep the entire bed floor open for cargo.
A ’15 Ford F-150 4WD 6.5-in. McGaughy’s Suspension lift kit. There is no cutting or grinding on the differential with this kit.
We at Truckers Toy Store had a good year in 2014 and are looking forward to a great year in 2015. We are seeing more customers coming in and educating themselves before they even buy their trucks. However, leveling kits are by far one of our hottest products. This purchase then leads to other add-ons such as rims, tires, fender flares and interior floor protection. We find that a lot of customers accessorize in stages.
Most SUV consumers are buying floor protection, vent visors, hood shields and window tint. Work-truck owners want toolboxes along with a spray-in bedliners, mud flaps and vent visors. Leisure street truckers trend toward functional tonneau covers and also usually purchase floor protection and some kind of bed protection. The off-road guys go for lifts, rims, tires and pocket flares.
With the Internet and so many companies out there, competition has become increasingly difficult. Some shops are producing their own, untested and uncertified products with no product insurance. This is a serious issue, and all of us need to be aware of the danger and liability that exists. That is why we educate our customers about our products. We care, and safety matters.
One of the fastest-growing product categories is tonneau covers, with the hard folding products leading the growth. Tonneau covers are rich in features and benefits.
Bed protection, cargo protection, security, improved aerodynamics, fuel mileage and improved vehicle aesthetics are all benefits that consumers report as reasons they purchased a tonneau cover.
Successful retailers who specialize in light-truck accessories have made sure that they are the “experts” in their field, are leaders in customer service and properly display the products they offer.
There are great no- to low-cost marketing methods available today. Dealers who have not already done so need to become, hire or contract social-media experts to properly execute marketing programs using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Foursquare.
Vehicle technology is advancing at light speed. Keeping up will be challenging.
Upper dash panel soft insert with soft compartments. Universal swivel-mount cell phone and GPS cradle. Cradle fits most smart phones and GPS ball mounts. Allows phone to be used as on-board camera or GPS. Eliminates suction cup windshield mounts. Made in the U.S.A.
Winjet introduces ’14 Toyota Tundra headlights featuring projector low beam to light the way and LED daytime running lights to keep up with the latest and hottest trend.
Fully functional sealed hood cowl mounts directly to stock hood. Directional chambers reduce underhood temperature by 12%. Fully paintable molded- plastic construction. Detailed instructions and video for easy installation. Retains underhood blanket and stock hood components. Comes complete with dual windshield squirter kit. Made in the U.S.A.
Firestone Industrial Products
Level the load and improve the ride with the ’15 Ford F-150 Ride-Rite kit. This no-drill kit uses existing holes in the frame for easy installation. The newest kit is designed to position the air spring between the frame and the axle for maximum stability, improving overall handling and supporting up to 5,000 lbs. (not to exceed vehicle’s GVWR).
The Pro Touring look—older body frame with new performance-product features—allows consumers to really customize their vehicles, breaking all the year/make/model standards.
The pickup market tends to be young, working males looking for performance products with a little bit of styling accessories. Full families usually own SUVs and are looking for accessories and gadgets to entertain the passengers and make things easy to transport.
In the off-road segment, younger people want to increase wheel and tire size, lift the truck and put an exhaust on it. These guys want to learn how to off-road and tend to visit local shops that specialize in it.
We are seeing more and more parts dealers hold meets and open houses to engage the community and bring people with like interests together. We are seeing a new type of social engagement, with hashtags designed for easy search to find market-segmented trends consumers want to follow.
We are worried about the ability to off-road due to legislative restrictions. This is limiting the ability to have safe and fun four-wheel rallies that are annual events in some areas. We are also concerned about new CARB laws and restrictions that most aftermarket companies are not ready for.
LED light bars are hot across the board. In both street trucks and SUVs, the trend is toward low center of gravity lift and leveling kits. Being able to use your truck and SUV in a day-to-day world is the key.
Off-roaders want items that function as well as look cool, such as the Daystar Cam Cans that look great but also hold gear for long trips. Overlanding trips are in now. They let people get out in the world but in less extreme conditions.
Retailers should get back to basics and sell to the customer. Some dealers have become order takers instead of sales people. They know what products would be best for the customers, so giving them that input is the key to success. New products come out every month, and learning about these products will help the dealer and the customer.
People are changing. Most 16-year-olds do not even want driver’s licenses. The advent of everyone being connected is creating a much smaller world. But that does not mean that young people will never drive, and we all need to listen to our new customers to offer the products they want and that fit into
These full replacement A-pillars for the Ford F-150 are said to be the easiest, most integrated way to add instrumentation to a truck.
Advance Adapters Inc.
This steel braided-line kit replaces the obsolete plastic clutch line kit on ’87–’93 Jeeps. Kit includes 42-in. steel braid line and necessary fittings for both internal slave cylinder and master cylinder. Kit replaces the discontinued Jeep PNs 04636860, 04636861 and 04728760.
Kooks Headers & Exhaust
Long-tube headers and complete exhaust system with ultra-high-performance green catalytic converters.
Airaid Filter Co.
The PowerAid throttle-body spacer for the ’14 Silverado/Sierra 1500 is an easy bolt-on upgrade that improves part-throttle response and fuel economy. All necessary gaskets and hardware are included, along with instructions written with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. Made in the U.S.A. and pending CARB approval.
Cold-air intake kit for ’14–’15 Chevrolet and GMC V8 gas engines. Features S&B’s all-new silicone- constructed air filter, which won’t crack or deteriorate over time. Also includes an airbox fender seal and removable plug. These dramatic changes contribute to increased airflow, increased hp and torque and exceptional fit and finish.
Ground Force Suspension
Ground Force 2-in. front, 1-in. rear leveling system for the ’14–’15 GM 1500. Front system utilizes OE- grade urethane spacer with coated strut extenders. Rear is done with powdercoated blocks, U-bolts and all needed hardware. Proudly made in the U.S.A.
Stabilize the Tundra with Energy’s polyurethane steering rack bushings. OE rubber bushings in the factory rack wear and cause sloppy steering. Replace the bushings, not the whole rack. Includes zinc- plated hardware.
KW Automotive North America
Belltech Sport Trucks announces the release of a lowering kit for the ’15+ Chevrolet Tahoe. The Belltech lowering kit is designed to lower 1 or 2 in. in the front and 3 or 4 in. in the rear.
Doug Thorley Headers
Long tubes and the historic Tri-Y-design headers and Y-pipe for the new ’14 GM line of V8 trucks and SUVs. Offers 100% bolt-on performance. Comes standard with ceramic coating. Lifetime warranty.
Foldout Tire Carrier
Off Camber Fabrications foldout tire carrier for the 2007-2014 Jeep Wrangler.