Carmakers Benefiting From Consumers Interest In Add-Ons

The world’s leading automakers are making the most of consumer interest in optional extras and add-on packages which have helped increase the average sales prices of many popular vehicles, reports The Detroit News.

Industry analysts say that these add-ons allow manufacturers to increase their profits and also help to reach a larger number of customers. In recent weeks, Chrysler unveiled a new Touring Plus package for the Pacifica that costs a touch under $4,000 while at last month’s New York Auto Show, General Motors launched the Avenir sub-brand for Buick.

Like its rival, Ford is also reaping the rewards for option trim packages and performance add-ons. As a matter of fact, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing Mark LaNeve revealed that the average sales prices of the company’s SUVs have swelled by $4,000 in recent years due to interest in a wide variety of trim packages.

“It’s amazing what performance products do to expand your brand. Performance is definitely attracting new people. … There’s always going to be a value buyer in every segment, where the growth comes is either in performance or in appearance,” said Ford marketing manager Jason Mase.

Executive publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, Karl Brauer, says a key reason why customers are so interested in add-on packages is that they allow them to push a mainstream model upmarket and closer to more luxurious and expensive premium vehicles.

“I think there’s a segment of the population out there that wants to feel like they’re getting something different from what everyone else has. It’s kind of the perfect thing for (auto companies),” Brauer said.