Painting a profitable picture

Paint protection services and sales are going through the roof in Canada. But these products have the potential to become even bigger

Thanks to technological innovations, dealers are now able to provide consumers with more options to protect their vehicles. With better technology comes better sales.

One F&I product that has fared particularly well is paint protection. Dealers are now seeing paint protection sales take off in F&I offices across the country.

Beyond being a profitable item on the F&I menu, paint protection can provide considerable value for customers. In the past, paint protection products used to be applied only to protect the hood and bumper of vehicles. Now, with self-healing functions and other technologies available, consumers are opting to cover the vehicle’s entire front end, and sometimes, even the whole car.

Mathieu Moreau, President, Parasol Canada, says increased paint protection coverage on vehicles has helped account for his company’s growing sales, which have increased 40 per cent every month over the last four years.

Dealers can also experience sales penetration as high as 60 per cent with paint protection products, says Gordon Swail, Senior Director, Training & Brand Performance, IA-SAL Group, who works with 3,000 dealers across Canada.

While paint protection sales are booming across the country, these kinds of products are particularly popular in Alberta and Quebec.

An abundance of seagulls — and the droppings they leave behind — has also made the technology sought-after on the West Coast. Swail says IA-SAL has a specialist out in Vancouver dedicated to selling paint protection products and services.

In Montreal, Moreau says he estimates technicians are installing paint protection on as many as 75-100 vehicles per day.

“It’s a great aftermarket product which has a nice markup for any F&I person who sells the product,” says Moreau.

Not without problems
With such a growing demand for paint protection, it seems as though all dealers and consumers should be on board with the paint protection service in Canada. That’s not the case, says Swail.

Time is often not on your F&I manager’s side. It’s common for new vehicle owners to be worn out completely from the sales process by the time they meet your F&I staff. The customers may have their guards up from the lengthy sales process.

Because there are so many products that have been introduced into the market over the last dozen years, your salesperson might not be well versed enough to be comfortable selling everything that’s available, explains Swail.

If the time factor was eliminated, Swail believes dealers could experience sales penetration as high as 80 per cent on new vehicles and 30 per cent or more on used ones — which is where one of the biggest opportunity lies for paint protection sales.

Right now, the used vehicle market for paint protection products is virtually untapped. Most dealers Swail talks to average only 10 per cent product penetration in the used vehicle category, which he says is a shame.

“There’s a general attitude among dealers that people who buy used cars don’t want to spend $400 on paint protection,” says Swail.

By thinking this way, dealers are essentially painting themselves into a corner.

Helping salespeople to sell paint protection services requires extensive training. That’s where Moreau and his team come in.

Moreau and the team he oversees at Parasol Canada are all highly-skilled and trained as paint protection technicians so they can help answer any technical questions. Parasol Canada offers training on site, over the phone, and instructional support videos, to help technicians install the product on vehicles.

To increase visibility and, in turn, sales, Moreau also drops off informational material and brochures to dealerships. He’s working hard to educate potential customers in the province of Ontario, a region which he feels requires more knowledge about paint protection products yet presents a huge opportunity.

Swail and his team focus on dispelling all of the myths surrounding paint protection products.

Basically, seeing is believing. One sales technique involves taking a brand new car and applying the paint protection product on one side and leaving the other as is. The result in appearance is night and day — and that shocks the salespeople.

“Nothing that I’ve seen in my 30 years around this business has been a more simple, more direct, more results producing way of selling that particular product,” says Swail.

He adds, “If a finance manager is willing to spend time to educate their dealership team or customer, it is a very straightforward product to sell, and they can be confident they’re giving the customer excellent value for their money.”

Related Articles
Share via
Copy link