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Tale of Two Trucks

Reach both ends of the truck market.
Sunday, July 1, 2007 - 00:00

Reach both ends of the truck market.

In the publishing world, you likely would never see a feature on a lifted truck displayed back-to-back with a feature on a lowered (slammed) truck. However, Styling & Performance presents these two features (back-to-back) to show you both ends of the large and profitable late-model truck market.

Trucks are a huge part of the aftermarket parts industry, so you should be aware of the various markets. The truck market breaks down into early model and late model. From there, it branches off to early-model stock (restored), early-model street, and early-model 4x4 (rare, and a very small part of the market). It's the same with late model; you have late-model stock (restored), late-model street (lowered or slammed), and late-model 4x4 (which is common and a large part of the market).

From these subsets, we get the two trucks featured here: a late-model lifted 4x4 truck and a late-model lowered street truck.

In general, people from these two market segments don't co-mingle. However, from a business standpoint, they start with the same basic vehicle (a late-model pickup truck) and purchase many of the same parts. Where they differ is in ride height—one goes high and the other goes low.

You can take advantage of this difference by offering both groups the same engine performance and dress-up items, transmission modifications, and interior products. Each market goes a different direction for suspension modifications, but suppliers for both are out there and the products are available.

While Adam Nitte's lifted Ford F-250 truck presents a totally different profile from Mike Abney's lowered GMC pickup truck, as a businessperson, remember that both are late-model pickup trucks and the parts and equipment these truck owners want are available for you to sell.

The good news is you don't necessarily have to stock all these parts; you just need to be aware of the different markets and their parts and be ready to "special order" parts when customers are ready to buy. By using our Web site,, and our Source Boxes located at the ends of these stories, you can source the parts your customers want to buy.

For example, the trim items shown on Nitte's truck could be just as at home on Abney's lowered truck. Even the air system, while used for different purposes (adjusting tire pressure on Nitte's 4x4 and ride height on Abney's truck), is an accessory both trucks need. Interior trim, sound systems, navigation systems, and entertainment systems are similar and can be sourced, in many cases, from the same supplier.

Take a close look at the modifications made to each of our featured extreme late-model trucks. Both serve as excellent examples of which modifications consumers want and will help you prepare for customer inquiries about late-model truck modifications and parts. Whether you are into trucks or just into selling truck parts, this tale of two (very different, yet very similar) should help you grow your business.

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