Hit the Road
Whether revealed in the form of manifest destiny, the rite of passage associated with becoming a new driver or the long list of movies celebrating rebel wanderers, Americans have always abided a love affair with the road. For as long as the road intimates freedom, neither industry struggle nor national economy will deter the majority of American consumers from becoming car owners. 2006 was a case in point:
even while domestic car sales were down, the year’s best-performing month reported 1.53 million vehicles sold in the United States alone, according to www.msnbc.com.
Regardless of what form they take in the future, cars and drivers aren’t going anywhere--which is why distributors and manufacturers can still rely on automotive products for profit. Gordon Klepec, director of sales at Wright Business Graphics, Portland, Ore., attributes a large part of Wright’s business to automotive forms. Wright didn’t set out to produce them specifically, he said, but to service bigger industries promising growth. “Since we are a trade-only manufacturer, it is our distributor partners [who] decide which markets to actively sell into. We just happen to have the right equipment to satisfy the automotive industry’s needs when it comes to printed product[s].”
Klepec said sales performance always affects the companies providing services to an industry, but Wright specifically “saw some areas of [the auto industry’s] usage decline, and were able to offer ... distributors other avenues of print to sell to the automotive dealerships.”
Forms aside, distributors can veer toward providing products like parking permits, decorative body and windshield decals or striping adhesives. (Wright even prints millions of traffic citations every year.) Vehicle wraps, vinyl advertising of all shapes and sizes and outdoor advertising in general offer sales opportunities, as well. Dixie Seal & Stamp Company in Tucker, Ga., for example, generates novelty license plates.