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Vendor Newsmaker Q&A Ann-Marie Hines, Lumileds

Monday, June 11, 2018 - 07:00
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Q: You are also addressing the issue of lighting safety? What are some of the particulars of this program?

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A: Last year we launched a new safety initiative built around the overall theme of changing headlight bulbs in pairs. Most motorists only replace a headlight bulb when it burns out or goes dim. This is not a good practice, because replacing just one failed bulb can result in an unbalanced headlight beam pattern and potentially present a safety risk. The road ahead will not be properly lit, and the driver will not get the full benefit of the vehicle’s headlights as originally intended by the carmaker.

The idea of replacing parts in pairs is not new to the automotive market. Professional automotive technicians and driving safety advocates alike are constantly recommending that tires, brakes, shocks and wiper blades should be replaced in pairs to make sure the vehicle is properly balanced and functioning safely. We believe that because lighting is an important safety feature, it clearly belongs on that list.

Q: This also ties in with increasing lighting maintenance sales opportunities for installers?

A: Absolutely. And auto parts stores as well. There are many selling opportunities available for lighting because it is an underperformed vehicle service. That means the market is ripe for selling more lights and encouraging professional techs and do-it-yourselfers to install more lights as well.

The spring and fall seasons are typically ideal for promoting and increasing lighting sales. These time periods usually coincide with national car care events designed to support vehicle safety and maintenance awareness. They help create great opportunities to promote lighting, so drivers can be ready for safer vacation travel in the spring and easier driving under inclemen, winter weather conditions in the fall.

That’s why we are very aggressive with our promotional activities, especially during the National Car Care Months in April and October. We support the Car Care Council’s “Car Care Aware” efforts and are reaching out via advertising, PR and social media to get our message to all of our distribution channels.

Q: What are some of your initiatives for increasing the visibility of the vehicle lighting market?

A: We are working very hard to up the awareness of lighting maintenance. A recent report from the Car Care Council listed the Top 10 auto repairs, and lighting maintenance was not on the list. We feel it should be. Lighting is one of the most important active safety systems in a vehicle and should be maintained accordingly.

Headlight bulbs wear out and get dim over time. To make matters worse, drivers become accustomed to the reduced lighting and fail to act on it or mention it to their technician when they bring their car in for service.

We are also reaching out to the shop level and encouraging technicians to engage in more lighting service, which they can do as part of the routine safety inspection they usually conduct when a vehicle is in their shop. This will help increase their service work and add parts sales.


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