Want to sell more accessories to new-vehicle buyers? Don't forget to make your sales pitch to women and baby boomers.
That insight comes from the 2013 Automotive Accessory Market Report released in April by Foresight Research of suburban Detroit.
The study, covering 7,500 new-vehicle buyers, found that half of all accessory sales occur at or immediately after a vehicle delivery, but only 32 percent of dealership salespeople attempted to sell accessories.
Ron Hein, a Foresight Research executive vice president, says selling accessories as part of the new-vehicle sales process is worth the effort. The study found that four of 10 new-vehicle buyers in 2012 purchased accessories, spending an average of $1,949.
"Many dealerships consider accessory sales a completely different department. It may be handled by someone else in the showroom or maybe the guy behind the parts counter," says Hein, who retired from the company in late May. "Many of the dealership processes in place today do not consider accessory sales upfront."
The report also says women and individuals over 55 are avid buyers in vehicle segments such as SUVs and small- and mid-sized cars. But only 29 percent of women and 28 percent of buyers 55 and older are approached by a salesperson to buy accessories.
That compares with 40 percent of buyers 18 to 34 years old and 36 percent of men.
The company has conducted the survey since 2010. It compares vehicle brands, segments, geography and accessory type and information sources used to shop and buy. It measures accessories that have already been purchased and accessories consumers say they plan to purchase in the first two years of ownership.
Pickups are the most personalized vehicle segment, with 70 percent of buyers saying they either have installed or plan to install accessories. Racks, trailer hitches and bed liners are among the popular pickup accessories.
"A pickup is a multipurpose vehicle," Hein says. "During the week it's your daily driver, and on the weekend it's your great escape to carry all your toys."