Eighty-nine percent of US dealership owners and senior executives said they are pursuing sales of after market products as a strategy to improve per vehicle revenue (PVR) while maintaining a high customer satisfaction index (CSI), according to a survey by vehicle security systems supplier LoJack Corporation at the recent National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) in San Francisco.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said that after market products play a more important role today in generating profit for their business than in the past.

The survey also revealed that 90% of these key decision makers are not planning on downsizing employees or employee hours, and 61% said they had no plans to reduce vehicle inventory to increase PVR.

"What we've learned from this survey is that rather than downsize like so many other industries, dealerships are pursuing a proactive sales approach to maintain growth and profitability, despite the projected decline in new car sales this year," said LoJack vice president of global marketing, Donna Driscoll.

Asked about the general mindset of customers today, 95% said they have a higher interest in products that provide good value or financial practicality, such as financing deals and discounts, while 85% said customers have a higher interest in products that provide a sense of security and peace of mind, such as extended warranties and theft protection systems. Respondents also indicated that only 65% have a higher interest in products that appeal to consumers' sense of style.

When determining which after market products dealers would sell to achieve high CSI, an overwhelming 99% said reputed high quality was important to very important, 92% said product compliance was important to very important, and 78% said known brand name was important to very important.