What often distinguishes a performance product from a replacement product in the exhaust market is one simple question: “Is it a want item or a need item?” As people become especially frugal these days with their discretionary income, performance can represent a cash cow, if you know what to sell and how to sell it.
It is important to remember that performance does not always mean more horsepower and more torque. A performance exhaust system can be an incentive for better fuel efficiency for those who drive excessively.
“I think that the truck and muscle car market is certainly what is growing with performance. We’ve seen a lot of negative pressure on the import side of it. That market seems to be decreasing based on a number of different factors–certainly the trend has been more towards muscle cars and trucks,” says Jim Fox, national sales manager for Maremont.
When you have a premium product in the performance end of the business it’s all about brand, and brand dictates price. It’s something that people want to buy, no matter what the price is.
“Make sure that that customer has the point-of-sale materials, so that he can promote the brands offered by that jobber, and also that the installer knows all the support tools that are available to him,” continues Fox. “Catalogues, websites, tech lines–there’s a lot of prime information that can help that installer maximize [the products’] potential.”
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