As the auto industry continues to recover from the recession, dealers are looking for ways to increase sales. Some dealers are upselling clients on vehicles customized with accessories. And other dealers find that promoting the availability of parts is making a difference on where consumers ultimately purchase their vehicles.
A new study, Influence of Accessories on New-Vehicle Sales from SEMA, finds that a wide range of factors influence consumer decisions during the auto purchase process. This study had some similar findings to those published by Ad-ology Research in the 2011 Auto Buyers Forecast released earlier this month. It may come as little surprise that vehicle price and dealer willingness to negotiate are top concerns for prospective buyers. But it turns out that consumers are also interested in having dealers customize cars before they drive them off the lot. In addition, knowing about the availability of parts at the dealership makes a difference during the purchase process.
The SEMA study reveals that 9% of consumers make a vehicle selection decision based on the accessories they see at the dealership. And up to 1/3rd of consumers will return to a dealership to have their cars customized after purchase. As a result, more dealers are displaying autos loaded with accessories. SEMA analysts believe that this consumer attitude can influence up to 1 million new-vehicle sales annually. Dealerships have found that some of the most popular add-on accessories include audio and video components and wheels and tires.
More dealerships plan to stock these accessories to increase the sales. In addition, they'll be promoting their service department capabilities to boost revenues for this profit center as well.[Source: Campbell, Steve. Accessories Influence New-Car Sales. Semanews.com. April 2011. Web. 21 Jun. 2011]