DONNA HARRIS

Who's selling your accessories?

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News

A study of 9,000 new-vehicle buyers suggests that dealers could be missing a large chunk of the accessories business.

Foresight Research found that 44 percent of accessory buyers spent at least $250 on their goodies. Some 57 percent of those who purchased accessories said they were installed at the time of vehicle purchase.

"The dealer has first dibs on getting the accessories business," says Ron Hein, executive vice president of Foresight.

But just 39 percent of the car buyers surveyed said their salesperson asked whether they'd be interested in accessories.

Foresight studied the influence of the salesperson on accessories purchases. When the salesperson made an effort to sell accessories, the average sale almost doubled to $680 compared with $346 when the salesperson was mum on accessories.

More than 50 percent of the accessories buyers said they'd like to roll the cost of the accessories into their car payment.

Perhaps dealerships should consider a new champion for their accessories business: the F&I office.

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