Winter wheels and accessories offer additional opportunities
Two consecutively harsh winters have raised awareness to the safety implications associated with freezing temperature. With temperatures regularly dipping below seven degrees between September and April, messages promoting the benefits of winter tyres are beginning to get through.
The safety benefits speak for themselves but there also associated considerations that need to be taken into account too. In the UK, we often combat the Ice and Snow conditions using aggressive mineral compounds such as rock-salt or grit. This grit and salt can inevitably damage the finish of OE and aftermarket alloy wheels. Having a second set of alloy or steel wheels for use during these conditions will increase the longevity of a vehicle’s summer wheels, and ensure they are not corroded by the salt and slush from the road. As well as the performance benefits offered by winter tyres this can save a considerable amount of money on wheels.
In order to service this market Alcar Wheelwright has developed an extensive programme of steel or alloy wheel and winter tyre packages to cover the winter market, with over 90 per cent of the car parc covered. Managing director, Kevin Greer, explained: “The winter wheel market in the UK has remained latent for some time. But, with two consecutive harsh winters, the safety implications and cost benefits, people are realising the benefits of having a set of winter wheels. For retailers and fitting bays, it also offers an opportunity for another “touching point”, which they can use to up-sell other products such as oil changes, MOTs and winter health checks. It really can benefit both our retailers and, more importantly, the end consumer.”
In essence, offering a winter wheel and tyre programme shows business acumen, and, more importantly, an interest in the safety of your customers. Greer continued: “…Alcar Wheelwright…[has] access to high-volumes of stock both in the UK and Europe, supplying wheels from top brands such as AEZ, Dezent, Dotz, Enzo, Calibre & KFZ Stählrad.”
But it doesn’t end with wheels. With the 2012 model year bringing with it mandatory fitment of tyre pressure monitoring sensors on new vehicles, there are other opportunities for those in the trade. Imagine a customer who has forked out a considerable investment on winter tyres and wheel he expects to use the next few months only to find out that his BMW’s TPMS light will remain on as long as his winter wheels are fitted with the necessary TPMS sensors. In order to make sure the customer is fully satisfied and in order to maximise your own opportunities you provide (via one of the various supplier out there) these as part of your package too.