I recently paid a visit to the land of 10,000 lakes and the “Twin Cities,” or in this case, the 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minn. The Discovering Transformations tour gave industry journalists like myself an inside look at 3M’s Commercial Films division and what the future holds for the automotive wrap and film industry. During the event, employees talked about the history, innovation and science behind many of their products.
Like others in the industry, I had previously seen both wrapping and window tinting film as novelty items in the automotive world, upgrades that were meant for the over-the-top car enthusiast market and exotic car owners looking to stand out. But what if wraps and tints were a tool rather than a novelty? A tool both physically to protect and beautify the vehicle and theoretically to be used as a profit center for collision repair businesses.
Time-saving, cost-saving, environmentally friendly – these are all things vehicle wraps bring to the table. With cycle times and staying profitable so vital to this industry, you would think wraps and tints would be more popular among collision repair professionals.
So my question to you is, why aren’t they?
I’ve heard in the past of shops being reluctant to adopt new niche profit centers in their business due to a variety of reasons: investment cost, distraction to your main focus (collision repairs), too little profit to be considered worthwhile, fear of your trainee developing an entrepreneurial spirit and taking off to go into business for himself. But if done right and managed properly, does that give wraps and tints a solid place in the industry?
Another pushback I’ve gotten is that shops would rather focus on getting more wrecks in the door than upselling customers on whatever new service you have. But have we considered the whole spectrum of customers who pass through your shop? The average middle-of-the-road car enthusiast who was recently in a wreck to me would be the obvious target to sell to, but I’m curious to know what you think about wraps and tints.
Drop me a note in the comments or via email at [email protected] and let me know your opinion!