While Kenig makes
is sound like luxury trucks will be nothing more than a flash in the pan,
he says the new trend will be beneficial to the aftermarket in the long
run, especially if aftermarket manufacturers learn from the past.
"I think there are
some key things that the aftermarket can learn from what happened with
sport sedans, and begin applying them to this situation," says Kenig.
"As the aftermarket
begins to look at these new luxury trucks, they'll realize that the OEMs
are loading them up with many of the features they've been installing
on the more mundane everyday trucks - the Ford, Dodges and Chevvies -
to make them more stylish. The OEMs will load them up with every imaginable
feature. So there won't be a whole lot those aftermarket retailers and
installers can do to make them more stylish. They'll be the truck equivalent
of the Armani suit."
As a result, says
Kenig, in the beginning, there won't be much of an increase in accessories
for these new luxury trucks, because essentially they'll come carriage-built
and highly styled.
"I think there may be
a frenzied five- or six-year run of popularity before they fall by the wayside,
or until something else becomes the hot, trendy new product," notes Kenig.
"When their popularity fades, the manufacturers will not be able to sell
them in large volumes. That means the number of offerings will probably
drop. It also won't be cost-effective for aftermarket firms to tool up to
make all kinds of accessories for these luxury trucks, once they begin to
fade from the market."
What Kenig does see
the aftermarket doing, however, is co-opting some of the styling cues
and accessory items from these new luxury trucks, and making less expensive
copies. "These then can be installed on the more basic trucks, so the
guy driving his run-of-the-mill Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado can imitate
these expensive luxury models."
in the next five or 10 years, the new luxury trucks are sure to have an
impact on the truck market. And there will undoubtedly be opportunities
to sell accessories for them. And if not, as Kenig suggested, accessory
dealers will be stocking accessories that make Ford F-150s look like Lincoln
Blackwoods. So in that regard, I suspect the old saying is true: Plagiarism
is the sincerest form of flattery.