Most people work as hard as they possibly can to try to increase their sales, and that can lead to burnout and extremely disappointing results, according to Rich Barsamian, vice president of sales and marketing for Advanced Clutch Technology. In any economy, trying to double your customer base can be a daunting task. To achieve that goal, focus on different ways to attract new customers.
The recent announcement that the PRI Trade Show is set to return to the Indianapolis Convention Center this December 9–11 marks yet another milestone in a busy year for the company. First, Dr. Jamie Meyer was named PRI president in late spring 2020. Shortly after his arrival, the company launched a series of targeted programs to assist racing businesses and operations suddenly impacted by the pandemic. Among them was the PRI Ambassador Program—an aggressive campaign specially created to help racetrack operators navigate local, state and federal rules required to reopen safely.
The automotive aftermarket has evolved through the years—sometimes gradually, other times suddenly—in response to changes in consumer preferences and advances in technology. Through all the permutations, Hot Rod Alley at the SEMA Show has remained a steady industry focal point—a showcase for the aftermarket’s legacy innovators and their latest parts and projects. First popularized during the postwar years by a handful of shade-tree fabricators, the hot-rod marketplace has grown in the decades since into a global industry comprising thousands of companies that constitute a $1.26-billion market sector, according to the most recent survey from the Hot Rod Industry Alliance.
There is something in the air and it smells like a shakedown. Ever since the Volkswagen diesel scandal broke six years ago, it seems like the government has set its sights on the automotive specialty aftermarket. You can’t open the newspaper without reading about another enforcement action or settlement.
While the specialty-equipment aftermarket has traditionally been a male-dominated profession, the demographic landscape has changed markedly in recent years, and nowhere more so than in the consumer sphere, where women make up a sizable plurality of purchasers. A 2014 study by United Parcel Service found that women account for some 40% of all online auto-parts sales, and a 2018 SEMA “Young Accessorizers Report” found that nearly one-third of accessorizers under age 25 are female, so women consumers clearly comprise a healthy market segment that specialty-equipment companies would be wise not to overlook.
The powersports UTV market seems to get better and better each year, not just in terms of the vehicles themselves but also in terms of the increasing number of consumers flocking to the side-by-side lifestyle. It’s a phenomenon that not even a pandemic can stop.
In January, General Motors (GM) grabbed headlines with the announcement that it planned to be carbon-neutral in both its global products and operations by 2040. A key part of that ambitious goal will be the elimination of tailpipe emissions from its light-duty vehicles by 2035. The automaker said it plans to accomplish that through a heavy $27 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years. Additionally, GM is committed to offering 30 all-electric vehicle models by mid-decade, with Chevrolet especially at work on eCorvette and electric SUV designs.
There’s something about a pickup that sets it apart. No, we’re not talking about the obvious—the bed in back that lets you carry lots of stuff, or the solid axle that lets you tow a trailer. We’re talking about intangibles.
In 2020, most companies were forced to drastically alter their person-to-person business approach due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry shows, including the SEMA Show, were cancelled and replaced by virtual events, such as SEMA360. Racing events were cancelled or postponed. More people were working from home than ever before. Business meetings were conducted via Zoom. Seminars made way for webinars.
Annual business planning is a proven growth driver. Unfortunately, many small-business people may be tempted to skip that task for 2021, since traditional strategic planning often ties up time and resources. Plus, with COVID-19, who can predict the marketplace?