For years, new car dealers have shuddered at the potential money they could be making when they see the 4x4 vehicles they just sold being driven off the lot and around the corner to the local 4x4 accessories outfitter, where the owner then spends another $10K, $20K or even $30K (or more) on the new truck.
The smarter vehicle manufacturers have developed extensive ranges of factory made and approved accessories to tempt the buyer into spending more with at the dealer, but most enthusiasts prefer the kit to come from a company that knows what we do with our 4x4s and how to make the gear to better prepare the cars for this use.
More often than not the OE accessories would be made to the company’s specification by a recognised 4x4 accessories manufacturer and then sold to the car company unbranded, yet buyers still prefer to have known brands on their trucks.
It put a smile on my face to see the Ford Rangers on display at the SEMA Show wearing steel bumpers and the “Ford Performance by ARB” badge. ARB has previously made bullbars for OEMs, but this is the first time I’ve seen it acknowledged on the product. Ford recognises that enthusiasts like to have name brands on their cars and is capitalising on it with ARB and with the Fox Shocks it fits to its Ford Performance Raptor models. Isn’t it great to see Australia’s ARB getting such recognition worldwide?
The Ford Performance stand at SEMA had a host of name-brand accessories for US-Ranger buyers including ARB bars, Fox suspension, Yakima storage and Warn recovery products. Each of these brand names are loved and used by 4x4 enthusiasts. Wouldn’t it be nice to see such product on offer here?
OEMs working with third-party companies has taken a huge step further with the turnkey vehicles featured in this issue, with RTR working in close collaboration with Ford, and AEV with General Motors.
These partnerships provide a win-win-win situation for the vehicle manufacturer, the tuner and the buyer, as you are getting a new car with improved performance and styling from recognised companies, built to OE quality standards and with factory warranty and support. It’s a trend we can see in the USA and we look forward to seeing it take off here.
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The quintessential magazine for Australia’s four-wheel drive and offroad enthusiasts.
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