5 Q : What’s important for retailers and restylers to know heading into the spring selling season? A : Advancements in the tire industry have grown the wheel industry and vice versa. New technology has allowed for bigger cast wheels at a price point much lower than forged. The tire demand increases, which encourages more tire manufacturers to make bigger tires (22+” diameter). Prices go down, and customers jump to bigger wheel and tire combos. Flow-form cast wheels are very prevalent. There are finishes galore. Chrome will never die, but we have even more options— machined, tinted machined, gloss, black, bronze, anthracite, etc. Ultimately, the consumer wins here…. choices, choices, choices. Q : You previously commented that top sales remain 20s, 18s, and 17s, but 24” is like the new standard, with 26” becoming even more common. Not long ago, that was forged-only territory. What do you have to say to shops that are still on the fence about this trend? A : What I saw at SEMA was everybody pushing 30s. That’s not a realistic expectation for most shops. They look really cool, yeah, but it’s geared toward a very small portion of the market. My advice is don’t be afraid of 22s or 24s. The opportunity is there, and we’re right on the cusp of it. Not to mention, the price point of the 22 in comparison to the 18 isn’t as high anymore, not like it was four years ago. The upsell for a shop is, “For a few hundred more, I can put you in 22s.” Q : Recently, GRIDOff-Road entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Keystone. What is the significance for Keystone customers? A : GRID designs, manufactures, and markets some of the most desirable aftermarket wheels according to the industry’s highest standards. We operate seven distribution centers across North America with a combined available warehouse footprint of over 2.5 million square feet. So, this is a trend-setting line that’s exclusive to our network of customers—a great brandwith unique styles and finishes that’s now all theirs because of Take 5 with Dan Guyer • Wheel Trends in 2019 Category Manager at Keystone this partnership. GRID Off-Road products will be stocked in all locations to provide next-day delivery service and improved fill rates. Q : What’s new and exciting from GRID Off-Road? A : I love that if you look at a GRID wheel, you know it’s a GRID wheel. There’s such range, from a G4 that’s straightforward with a clean-looking 5-spoke design, to the more intricate milling of a GD9. GRID’s development of the new GD11s, 12s, and 13s were a joint effort with us to select sizes, finishes, and inventory. GRID is pushing into bigger, more aggressive offsets as well, like 20-x10 with a -44, 22x12, 24x14 that are off-the-charts gorgeous. The new lip on the GD1 is bigger than my hands! And they’re directional, but the wheel itself isn’t. The inserts can be switched out for a new look or come off so you can rotate the tires. Plus, there’s plenty of insert finishes for our customers to carry. There’s a lot of be excited about with this line of products—their designs stress a lot of individuality and versatility. The Editorial Roundtable S pring: precious rides are uncovered from winterstorageanddetailedtoperfection, speed junkies prepare for another season of high horsepower competition, off-roaders map out their summer trail rides, and your customers have a tax return burning a hole in their pockets. It’s one of the biggest selling seasons of the year, with exciting new vehicles hitting dealer lots and innovative products hitting stock. The upcoming Keystone BIG Show is the apex of it all, and the events team spares no expense to roll out the red carpet so attendees have the ultimate one-stop shopping experience. The following pages are filled with inspirational features, like that of Auto Definitions in Claremore, Oklahoma and Air Design USA’s award-winning 2019 Ford Ranger. Fans of the Jeep ® JL will find “Dawn of a New Era” a helpful resource for new product information, while performance enthusiasts turn to page 8 and receive a history lesson in Aeromotive’s skyrocketing success. There’s something for everyone inside this issue of Retail Partner Magazine, from 2019 wheel and tire trends to race season coverage. Happy reading!