“In the last year, this business has really blown up,” says Joe Alexander who customizes vehicles for dealerships.
Dodge Challenger gets body-wrap treatment.
Custom body wraps are poised to become hot aftermarket products for dealership F&I departments.
As a full-body or partial color wrap, these films let a customer turn a standard production vehicle into a highly personalized model.
The popularity of the wraps is strongest with buyers of new and 1- to 3-year-old models. It is sort of like using a case to personalizing a smartphone.
The last few years have seen the trend for customizing and personalizing vehicles go from niche to mainstream, driven largely by demographics, says Sidney Haider, a Reynolds and Reynolds vice president and general manager of its AddOnAuto accessories business.
“The accessories market continues to grow and flourish because of it,” he says, noting wrap exhibits drew a lot of attention at the recent SEMA vehicle-aftermarket show.
“There were so many people watching how this is done to completely change how a vehicle looks,” he says. “A vehicle wrap is a less costly option to a new or different car for many. This type of peel-off personalization has considerable appeal, especially to Millennials.”
Roxanne McSpadden, marketing director for wrap manufacturer Avery Dennison, cites particular popularity on the West Coast and in Texas
“Car buyers and owners can easily customize a vehicle without damaging the vehicle’s OEM paint,” she says, explaining part of the wrap appeal.
Joe Alexander, owner of Incognito Wraps in Las Vegas, customizes vehicles for area dealerships. His work ranges from Toyotas to Bentleys.
“In the last year, this business has really blown up, and now everyone wants to be part of it,” says Alexander.
His shop provides partial, full-body and – for bold car owners – extreme wraps. “This is a high-end color change, not a paint job,” he says.
The vinyl material adheres due to a chemical and pressure reaction between the wrap and the vehicle’s original surface.
Haider believes wrap prices must drop to about the $1,000 range to be a more affordable product for a dealership F&I offering. Many buyers will want to, um, wrap the cost into the vehicle financing.
Most wraps are sold and installed by specialty shops. Prices range from about $2,000 to $4,000.
Dealership customers considering vehicle personalization add-ons can use visualization tools like AddOnAuto’s digital accessories configurator, Haider says.
An AddOnAuto report says most car buyers accessorize their vehicles in some way, with six of 10 spending at least $1,500. Dealers generate on average $400 in retail sales per presentation and $157 in gross profit per presentation.
Wrap popularity will increase at warp speed at dealerships soon, Haider predicts. “Once dealers recognize the potential, they’ll jump right in.”