The variety and complexity of automotive keys has increased faster than many other products in the automotive sector, according to Car Keys Express.
With few alternatives to the dealership, the cost of key replacement has risen dramatically, and solutions are emerging that will bring key replacement back to retail, says Car Keys Express.
Over the last three decades, automotive manufacturers have continued to add new features to their keys. Although small in size, automotive keys contain a surprising amount of complex technology. More recently, they have added convenience features such as remote start or trunk release. The automotive key has continued to evolve even further and is often “smart,” allowing the owner to enter the vehicle by just being in close proximity — without pressing any buttons. A modern car may even be able tell who is entering the vehicle and adjust the seat, mirrors and even your preferred radio channels. These “creature comforts” have added significantly to the cost of a key Because of this increase in variety and complexity, auto manufacturers have virtually “locked out” retailers and manufacturers from entering the automotive key business.
Thirty years ago, an automotive key was a few dollars and can now exceed $500. The opportunity sounds ripe for retail, and key manufacturers like Car Keys Express, a Louisville, Kentucky-based company, are looking to disrupt the automotive key business. They’ve developed proprietary universal key technology and retail key replacement programs, which include:
- A frequency agile transmitter that allows hundreds of keys to be consolidated into a few, similar to how a universal TV remote works. This reduces SKU count significantly and lowers inventory cost and complexity.
- A complete retail key replacement program that includes tools, universal keys, ongoing support, and employee training.
Data shows 40% of consumers do not have a complete set of car keys. With a limited amount of universal keys, a retailer can cover most vehicles on the road today and have a gross margin of +65%.
For more information about Car Keys Express retail programs, visit carkeysexpress.com.