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Add to sales in a flash with battery accessory

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Dave McMahon, Editor-in-Chief
April 19, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

CTEK sparks sales with $10 indicator part

The traffic light coloring system on the CTEK Comfort Indicator Eyelet not only shows the battery’s condition. The $10 retail product also makes for quite an interesting talking point and a potential added retail sale for consumers who are purchasing their bike.

The CTEK battery charger itself has a starting retail price of $50, although the multi-mode $80 version is the top seller at powersports dealerships, according to Matt Ingram, regional sales manager for CTEK Power, Inc., the Ohio-based U.S. subsidiary of CTEK Sweden AB.

That’s quite an add-on sale combination for those in the parts department looking to add lines to their order.

It’s easy to see how the CTEK indicator gets customers interested. At Motor Cycle Center in Villa Park, Ill., all units that hit the showroom floor are pre-wired with the indicator eyelet.

“They sell European brands, and literally every bike gets pre-wired, from Triumphs to Ducatis to KTMs to Husqvarnas to MV Agustas,” Ingram said. “They do a great job with it.”

The product puts the showroom in an interesting light. The respective green, yellow and red lights denote the charge remaining in the battery.

Matt Ingram, regional sales manager for CTEK Power, Inc., the Ohio-based U.S. subsidiary of CTEK Sweden AB, discusses the battery charger at Dealer Expo.

Matt Ingram, regional sales manager for CTEK Power, Inc., the Ohio-based U.S. subsidiary of CTEK Sweden AB, discusses the battery charger at Dealer Expo.

“It gets the customer’s attention with the flashing light,” Ingram said. “The battery charger itself is not the sexiest product, but talking about this as an accessory, you can move them both. What really makes it stand out from everybody else is that we have the best charger out there, and to build awareness, that’s where this product really helps.”

CTEK initially began manufacturing the product to help dealers alleviate warranty issues that batteries can incur.

“They can really cause a headache with warranty,” Ingram said. “We’ve come up with a way to make batteries visible so the dealership can install them on every single unit. The LED light is built into the connection.”

The green light means the battery is charged; yellow means charge it soon; and red means charge it now.

“Once a day, dealers who sell our chargers will send a guy around the showroom to see if they see anything other than green,” Ingram said. “If they do, they plug it in and top it off. It reduces their warranty at the dealership level so they can monitor their own inventory. The other thing is any customer that comes in to purchase a bike, buy some oil or kick some tires, they’re going to see all these blinking lights in the showroom and ask the dealer ‘What’s this?’ You describe it to the customer. It’s a $10 retail, high-volume product. And it makes the sale of the charger a lot easier, so when the customer does buy the bike, you can say it’s pre-wired on the bike. It’s an easy upsell to include that charge on financing. What’s a $50 charger when you’re buying a $10,000 bike?”

CTEK has OEM partnerships with a variety of brands, including Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Harley-Davidson Sweden, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.

CTEK also offers a pigtail adapter for Harley-Davidson dealerships that have the product pre-wired.

“A lot of Harley dealerships are doing the permanent install and they’re having a lot of success with it,” Ingram said. “Again, it’s reducing warranty issues, and it’s showing customers that they’re going above and beyond what other dealer do to maintain their inventory. And it makes the sale of the chargers a lot easier.”

And for dealership employees who enter the shop before the lights are on, it’s an easy way to spot the lone red light among a sea of green. And staying on top of that potential problem is one more headache being eliminated.

 

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