Protection Products Continue to Rule Accessories Sales

In 2012, accessories continued to be a critical revenue driver for many auto dealerships, particularly as new vehicle sales continued their upward trajectory. And, with consumers shopping with a longer ownership life for their vehicle1 in mind, their interest in augmenting that vehicle with accessories for the long term is an opportunity dealerships can capitalize on in 2013.

Knowing the latest accessories trends can help dealerships focus on the right accessories for their customers in 2013. For example, in our year-end analysis of dealership accessories sales, the AddOnAuto Auto Accessories Trend Report, we discovered that consumers are demanding accessories that provide vehicle protection, convenience, utility, and personalization. While much of this demand was driven in 2012 by an eight percent rise in truck sales, longer vehicle ownership cycles, more technology choices, and harsher winters, the interest in protection products represents a trend we have seen growing in the past two years—one that seems likely to continue and that dealers should take note of.

The consumer preference data in our report is based on an analysis of 2012 accessories sales data from dealerships across the country (representing 18 brands and five regions across 30 states). The dealers in the report sold, on average, more than 50 percent of the customers who were presented with accessories, and in aggregate sold over 56 million dollars in accessories with average gross profits of 48 percent. Here are some highlights:

  • Protection products (floor mats) rule: Floor mats rose to become the top seller-by-volume position in 2012, outselling by two to one the second most popular accessory, splash guards, (which led factory exterior, the number two ranking category by volume). In fact, floor mats were so popular that they ranked in the top five in all regions, as well as taking the sixth spot in the total revenue category. And, these low price-point items also made a good showing in dealership profits, coming in at number eight in the top 10 accessories categories by total profit.
  • Exterior protection—plus alarms and remote starts—bring in the $$$: Paint protection products took the number one spot in total retail sales and dealer profits. Two other kinds of protection, from robbery and from chilly weather, prompted a rise in sales of alarms and remote starts in the second half, with a colder than usual winter probably helping to push the category into second place for both total retail sales and dealer profits.
  • Convenience trumps style: Convenience was an important consideration for accessories consumers in 2012, with cargo trays and cargo organizers leading the seventh ranking factory interior category in total product sales. Meanwhile, increased truck and SUV sales fired up purchases of step bars, hitches, roof racks and cargo carriers.
  • Accessorized by brand: Japanese models (with the exception of high lines) racked up significant accessories sales in 2012, with the Camry ranking as the most accessorized model for the Toyota brand. Accord was number one for Honda, Altima was number one for Nissan and the Sonata was the most accessorized Hyundai. Meanwhile, trucks, SUVs and vans were the top accessorized models for domestic brands: Ford’s F-150, Chevrolet’s Equinox, GMC’s Sierra 1500, the Ram 1500, and Buick’s Enclave took the most accessorized model spot for their respective brands.

The Top Ten Accessories Categories in 2012 (Jan–Dec)

By Volume

By Revenue

By Profit

1 Floor Mats Paint Protection Paint Protection
2 Factory Exterior Alarms, Remote Starts & Recovery Alarms, Remote Starts & Recovery
3 Body Side Moldings Upholstery Step Bars
4 Alarms, Remote Starts & Recovery Step Bars Body Side Moldings
5 Window Tint Body Side Moldings Upholstery
6 Paint Protection Floor Mats Factory Exterior
7 Factory Interior Hitch & Accessories Hitch & Accessories
8 Step Bars Factory Exterior Floor Mats
9 Hitch & Accessories Tonneau Covers and Bed Caps Roof Racks, Cargo Carriers & Bikes
10 Roof Racks, Cargo Carriers & Bikes Window Tint Dealer Packages

* 2013 AOA Auto Accessories Trend Report

Today, consumers demand more choice and instant visualization as they accessorize their vehicles, and all the dealers analyzed in this report utilize a web-based accessories sales platform that enables consumers to have in-depth visualization of every accessory available for their chosen vehicle2. By offering a consumer friendly sales process and focusing on understanding their local market, i.e. which accessories are most likely to be popular with their customer base, the dealerships in this report reaped robust revenue from accessories sales in 2012. By following their lead, and taking a few cues from this report, we anticipate robust sales of protection and technology accessories categories in 2013 and we predict major wins in accessories sales for dealerships in 2013.

For more details, and to read the full report, click here:

1 Average age of vehicle reaches record high, according to Polk, January 2012:

2 The 2013 AOA Auto Accessories Trend Report is based on complete year sales data from a diverse sampling of 150 dealerships who utilized AddOnAuto.

Sidney Haider is the president of Add.On.Auto division and vice president of izmocars.

Sidney Haider


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