Inside The Keystone Big Show
By Brett Soloman
There are a lot of mobile electronics dealers out there who are turning down a lot of profits by not offering vehicle personalization and performance (VPP) products. Let's face it, car audio and sport compact performance parts are complementary goods, just like peanut butter and jelly. But many retailers are still hesitant to bring personalization or performance parts into their stores because they may not recognize where it fits in the product mix. However, these retailers are losing out on sales by sending the customer down the street to a speed shop.
Even the big-box electronics retailers have made the foray into VPP. It only makes sense—most of mobile electronics installers are probably car enthusiasts anyway. Therefore, installing these products will be a welcome change from the mundane "deck-and-two" they normally get to perform in the rear of the store. Besides that, vehicle performance products bring a younger demographic of customers to the store with dispensable income that may not have walked in otherwise. The major questions dealers need to ask themselves are, "What do we stock?" and "Where should I turn in order to carry these parts?"
Most mobile electronics dealers have turned to a company known as Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc. Recently, CR attended Keystone's "Big Show" in Secaucus, New Jersey on February 22. This show is set up specifically for the purpose of educating buyers and jobbers in the latest in-vehicle personalization and performance, and setting up retailers with great deals on purchasing parts in quantities appropriate for their businesses.
Keystone is a major operation in the world of vehicle performance and personalization products. They represent over 650 manufacturers and have over 1.500 employees. The company also boasts its own in-house trucking delivery system. This basically stems from the days when speed shops needed delivery of heavy items, such as crate engines. There is really no other way to ship these items efficiently, promptly and at a relatively low cost other than an in-house trucking system.