SEMA News—January 2021

Restyler Versus Restyler: Styling Competition Creates New Opportunities

PRO
Chosen the fan favorite, the Hyundai Palisade Ultimate package
featured a custom leather interior; a vinyl-wrapped roof, pillars and
spoiler; tinted windows; smoked taillights; a gloss-black painted grille;
color-accented emblems; a 10-in. media player; caliper covers; and
22-in. wheels and tires.

Debuted by the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) as a pilot program in 2019, the PRO Cup Challenge featured four custom contenders. A panel of experts selected the winner. Attendees voted for the fan favorite.

But the Challenge is more than a competition. It delivers real-world marketing and sales opportunities.

Unlike one-of-a-kind feature vehicles—many of which will never be road-driven—Challenge entries had to meet and be judged by specific criteria. To qualify, the builds had to be marketable, appeal to a range of buyers, be creative and designed for dealership display, be easily replicated in any market, and be profitable for restylers and dealerships.

While plans to expand the competition at the 2020 SEMA Show were cancelled, the council is gearing up for 2021. To recruit participants, PRO will reach out to member restylers. The task force will review proposals and select the finalists. Member manufacturers will be encouraged to support the competition.

PRO
The RAV4 Le Stargazer lifestyle concept sported an array of curated
accessories: a 1.5-in. lift kit, 17-in. wheels and tires, a front bumper
guard, an embroidered leather interior, a 30-in. LED light bar,
heated seats, a roof basket, a fiber-optic lighting headliner, painted
calipers, custom badging and more.

“PRO has always tried to bring value to our members and the restyling community,” said Eric Holmes, PRO Cup Challenge task force chair. “Seeing the creativity in the different packages opened restylers’ eyes to ideas that they could sell in their markets. It encouraged them to think about restyling a vehicle with packages that they could replicate over and over, that make more money for dealers, and that create business for
the restyler.”

PRO has logged 80 vehicles built by restylers who replicated the Challenge entries. Select committee member Cristina Jorge, whose Hyundai Palisade Ultimate was the fan favorite, is among them.

“We have replicated the Palisade package, but we’ve done a lot of partial packages on different vehicles,” Jorge said. “It’s been a good run. The Challenge is all about building a package other restylers can replicate. We also learned a lot about the parameters and how to build on the Challenge’s success. We’re excited for 2021.”

“Our goal is to put restylers and manufacturers together—to have manufacturers seek restylers who will build these vehicles and be excited to get behind the program,” said PRO Chair Dino Perfetti, whose company has built a dozen vehicles based on those in the
2019 Challenge.

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