Oct 12, 12 | by: Bruce Smith
Keep an eye on the salesman if you want a winning hand when buying your next pickups; dealer-installed upgrades might not be your best bet
By Robin Walton
A good number of car owners drive their rides in stock mode just as they came from the factory.
Any aftermarket parts are simply replacements for wear items such as brakes and tires, or the basic necessities of a work truck such as a toolbox and bedliner.
Pickup owners, however, are much more likely to modify their vehicles for business or recreational use, adding winches, lights and gooseneck hitches before the truck does its first day of work.
These upgrades can be parts that you buy and have your company mechanic install or install yourself.
Aftermarket pickup accessories and equipment can also be ordered through, and installed by, a local upfitter. Or, as a number of companies are doing with new truck purchases, have the accessories installed through the pickup dealer’s network, which saves time on shopping and installation.
Automakers distinguish between “factory installed” options and the “dealer installed” accessory programs to sell that brand’s parts; Ford refers to their aftermarket parts program as Genuine Ford Accessories; the GM term is Genuine GM Parts; and the Chrysler system markets under the Mopar name.
Then there’re the accessories the dealer installs that don’t carry the vehicle manufacturer’s brand name.
While there is nothing wrong with the idea of dealers selling aftermarket parts so their customers can customize their vehicles before they drive off the lot, the reality of how it plays out in some dealerships can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and a big hole in your wallet.
The closing hours of some vehicle transactions take on a circus sideshow feel with all kinds of sleight-of-hand tricks and last minute maneuvers to try to blindside the unprepared customer.
Much of the latter is related to the sale of accessories, which is a profit honey-hole for car dealers.
Dealer-installed upgrades that have a big profit margin include:
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have some of these parts on your vehicle. After all, aftermarket makes up lot of our talk here at ProPickup.
But you should question whether or not the dealership is the best place to get these, and whether or not the point of sale is the best time to make that decision.