TS (MayJun07) - Accessories

By: Matt Vallez

In this issue we are focusing on accessories for golf cars, so what exactly are golf car accessories? According to my Webster’s Dictionary, an accessory is any object or device that is not necessary in itself, but that adds to the beauty or usefulness of something else. How does this definition then apply to golf cars, and whose definition of beauty or usefulness should we go by? This article will attempt to define a golf car accessory in a more meaningful way, as well as discuss some of the trends and combinations of accessories that can increase the beauty and usefulness of any golf car.


Let’s first go back in history and review what our industry has considered an accessory. When I started in 1991, a top was considered an accessory. In order to sell the other two most popular accessories, windshields and enclosures, you had to sell a top first. After those big three, the next accessories were sheepskin seat covers, wheel covers, light kits (running lights), recycled tire floor mats, and rear seat kits or cargo boxes. That was about it; maybe if you add mirrors and club protectors, as well as a few golf related items such as coolers, sand bottles and ball holders you would have about ninety percent of the accessories available in the early 90’s. The next wave of accessories included premium aluminum wheels, flip flop seat kits, light kits (with turn signals and brake lights), high-amp controllers, high-speed gear sets, electric motors, carpet, and simulated wood grain plastic dash kits.  Fast-forwarding to today and there are also GPS systems with monitors, tilt chrome steering columns, 23-inch tires set on 12-inch offset wheels, and independent front suspension lift kits. Today, you don’t have to ask the customer if his car even has a top; it came that way straight from the factory.


The definition of an accessory for a golf car is basically anything that is not necessary for the golf car to function properly. To decide on what is necessary would depend on how you plan to use your golf car.  If you are hunting, then camouflage and a gun rack would be considered necessary. If you are using it as a form of transportation, as many living in retirement communities do, then lights and a state of charge meter would be necessary.  In these cases, such items as the plastic wood grain dash might not be necessary. For simplicity sake, most golf cars start their life as striped down fleet cars. Anything added to this stripped down fleet golf car is, for our industries sake, an accessory. That would include motors, controllers and heavy-duty leaf springs; parts that are often considered “hard parts” or replacement parts. This is especially true when you replace a perfectly good part with a new one for the sole purpose of improving performance. That is a working definition of golf car accessories.     


Certain accessories, if not combined with others, will actually decrease the cars usefulness rather than adding to it.  For instance, if you add a lift kit and 23-inch tires set on 12-inch wheels to an otherwise stock electric golf car, then you have decreased its effectiveness and thus shortened the life of the motor and controller. Or, if you install a high amp series controller and motor combination without 4 gauge power wires, a high amp solenoid, and beefed up F&R switch your customer will be back sooner rather than later and not in good spirits about it either. If someone installs a rear seat kit and intends to ride four adults, he will also need heavy-duty leaf springs. Certain things just go together. Like a lift kit with big tires and fender flares or custom paint, or premium upholstery and graphics with chromed aluminum wheels. There are many combinations available, but selling the complete package is both where the money is and where the customer satisfaction is.


Why do it half way?  If someone comes in with an electric golf car and wants to haul dirt around his land that has a steep hill, you would be doing a disservice to sell the person only the steel box and call it a day. Instead, you offer him the other options that will finish the job.  Such options may be plastic or aluminum boxes, and dump box mounting kits, or different top options, standard to 80 inches. In order to get up the steep hills on his land with a payload, a car might need heavy duty rear springs, a lift kit, a high torque motor and controller combination, or some heavy 4 gauge wire, beefed up F&R, and so on….


You won’t know until you bring it up.  Even if the customer walks out with only a steel box, you have at least started him thinking about what else he can do to the golf car. If next week he decides the golf car is not climbing fast enough, he will come back and ask you about the motor and controller package you had discussed. So, the final definition of an accessory item is anything that you are able to convince a customer to add or replace on his golf car that is not required. The Nivel catalog has doubled the size of its accessory section for this reason.  Make sure you know all of your options and relay them to your customer.

Industry News - May/June 2007


Nivel Parts, the largest distributor of aftermarket golf car parts in the world, rolls out their 2007 parts catalog. The big book of parts weighs in at just over 5 lbs and contains 770 pages including an eighty page color section and a 104 page parts index. It features a greatly expanded accessory section, twice the size of the 2006 offering. The section features flip flop seat kits, four passenger kits and cargo boxes to name a few items. A new sub section of motor and controller combinations, as part of the color accessory pages and a motor and motor parts section now included in the controller section. The tire section is completely redone and contains tables for every tire and wheel combination available.


There are a lot of reasons to spend some time looking over this new catalog, you will find new and interesting items. Items with prices no other supplier can match and all stocked in a warehouse that is only three days ground freight from your door.


So if you have not seen the cover of the 2007 catalog in your mailbox yet give us a call. This is one tool you want to have.


Nivel Parts & Manufacturing 3510-1 Port Jacksonville Pkwy, Jacksonville FL 32226. 800-959-0852 www.nivelparts.com



(A.C.G., Inc., Chino, CA) – American Custom Golf Cars, Inc. (A.C.G.) announces a partnership with GE Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) to offer qualified dealers to power to maximize their sellable inventory without the large capital outlay that was previously required. The flooring program that is being offered to qualified dealers will have the flexibility of up to 60 days free flooring. “GE Financing is the Industry Standard for Dealer Finance and Inventory Procurement and we are very happy that we are able to offer our Dealers this option for their needs,” said Ray Hoogenraad, President of A.C.G., Inc.  “With the support of GE, new Dealers will be able to open their doors and fulfill their inventory depth needs and grow their business faster than ever before.”


For more information on becoming an Authorized Dealer for American Custom Golf Cars, Inc. or the new partnership with GE CDF, please call us at (909) 597-2885 or look us up on the web at www.acgcars.com



CARY, N.C. – During this year’s Golf Industry Show, John Deere Golf & Turf One Source™ announced its top territory manager, Greg Goudeau, and its distributor of the year, Georgia Turf & Tractor.


“Both Greg and the staff at Georgia Turf & Tractor have embraced the One Source program and its corresponding attitude:  commitment to the customer,” said Gregg Breningmeyer, director of sales and marketing, John Deere One Source.  “During our annual awards dinner at GIS, we were pleased to recognize their efforts within the John Deere organization.”


The top territory manager is chosen based on internal criteria, including new and used equipment sales, parts sales, asset management, and distributor participation in company initiatives.


“Success is really a team effort,” said Goudeau, citing his distributors and their staffs, One Source partners, and the John Deere staff in Cary as critical contributors.


“With the continually expanding One Source line and business developments like the recent acquisition of LESCO, the golf and turf business is always exciting.  But I most enjoy interacting with the customer.  My job is always exciting.  I jump out of bed each morning and hit the ground running.”


The Mark Rostvold Award, named for the former senior vice president of the Worldwide Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division, is given each year to the golf and turf distributor who illustrates superior salesmanship and industry dedication. The award is based on a number of factors, but focuses mainly on equipment sales, parts sales, participation in company initiatives and asset management.


The sales team from Georgia Turf & Tractor accepted the Mark Rostvold Award for top distributor of the year at the 2007 Golf Industry Show in Anaheim.  From left to right: Dane Hanger (owner, Georgia Turf & Tractor); Allen Weed (salesman, Georgia Turf & Tractor); Steve Marlor (salesman, Georgia Turf & Tractor); Jim Langston (regional sales manager, One Source); Gregg Breningmeyer (director of sales and marketing, One Source); Tim Boles (salesman, Georgia Turf & Tractor); and Tom Flick (owner, Georgia Turf & Tractor).


Please forward all sales inquiries to John Deere Inquiry Department, P.O. Box 13603, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, call 1-800-537-8233 or visit www.JohnDeere.com.



CHARLOTTE, NC – Jacobsen, a Textron Inc., company announced that Ralho Nicotera has accepted a new position with the company as vice president of sales.


Nicotera combines an extensive background at Jacobsen with a wealth of successful sales and management experience.


In his new role, Nicotera will manage all sales-related activities in the Americas and Asia Pacific. He will also be responsible for Jacobsen’s National Account, Turf Direct and Sales Support organizations.


“Ralph is a natural choice for this position,” said Dan Wilkinson, president of Jacobsen. “His experience and knowledge of the industry will help Jacobsen continue to focus on serving the needs of our customers.”


Nicotera has been with Jacobsen for more than 30 years, beginning his career in 1974 as a sales and marketing administrator.


Since then, Ralph has held a variety of leadership positions in sales, dealer development, marketing and product management, serving most recently as vice president of market development.


Additional information is available at www.jacobsen.com.



East Penn Manufacturing has recently added a new battery cleaning spray to its extensive line of battery accessory products. This cleaning spray penetrates, loosens, and neutralizes surface acid and corrosion deposits, and has an indicator that shows any residual acid that may remain on the battery surface.


When sprayed, the cleaning agent originates as a yellow color. As it detects acid, it leaves a pink-foam indicating where the acid is present. After additional applications, the user knows that the battery is free of acid residue when the spray remains yellow.


Battery cleaner spray helps reduce voltage leakage due to impeding contaminants optimizing current flow, performance, and service life. The acid indicating feature provides added safety ensuring that the battery is clean and completely free of any potentially harmful residual acid.


For more information contact East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., Lyon Station, PA 19536 or visit www.dekabatteries.com.



Jupiter, Fl. – Four of the leading sports trade associations have partnered to complete the largest online study of sports participation in the United States. This year’s study has been done as a joint effort of the newly formed USA Sports Participation Study, a collaboration of sports associations that have been doing participation research separately for a number of years:  Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, National Golf Foundation, Snowsports Industries America and the Outdoor Industry Foundation.      


NGF began conducting golf participation research with Synovate (formerly Market Facts) in 1986 and has been doing so ever since. The 2007 research was conducted via the Internet, after many years of fielding via mail surveys. This year’s sample of 60,000 individual surveys is the largest NGF has ever conducted, and was made possible by joining the partnership. 


“We are very pleased to be working with SGMA, SIA and OIF in this landmark sports participation study,” says Joe Beditz, president and CEO of NGF. “The advantages include a consistent methodology between the partners and a larger sample size allowing for higher resolution of data. Another advantage is our ability to present cross-participation, or the extent to which golfers participate in other fitness and sports activities.”


Plans call for 60,000 more surveys to be added each year so that, as time goes by, the study will yield the largest and most useful database of golf participation, enabling analysis at ever smaller levels of geography.


As in the past, NGF has the ability to recontact specific groups of golf participants such as frequent golfers, females, juniors, lapsed players, etc. for follow-up research.


NGF clients will have the ability to do PRIZM analysis, a lifestyle segmentation system developed by Claritas consisting of 66 unique marketing segments intended to help marketers better understand and target their customers.


The results of the golf portion of the study will be published in May in Golf Industry Report, NGF’s quarterly newsletter. Topline results for all sports will be available by the end of April at www.sgma.com. For more information on the National Golf Foundation plase visit www.ngf.org.

CS (MayJun07) - Tampa g Manufacturing


Tampa g Manufacturing has been manufacturing and supplying the golf car industry with quality products since 1967. In 1986 Jerry Showalter purchased Tampa g from the original owner and even today, still oversees all aspects of the business. Along with Jerry, Tampa g is operated by his son Tracy and his daughter Shea.


In 2005 Tampa g moved into a beautiful 40,000 square foot, state of the art facility located in Tampa, Florida. It’s under this one roof that they are able to design and manufacture all of their enclosures, windshields, and seat covers. Tampa g also distributes coolers, floor mats, wheel covers, and most other golf car accessories.


 As the recognized leader in the industry with their patented products: i.e. pocket enclosure, “tuck-a-way” valance enclosure, zipper enclosure, hinged windshield, and the floor saver, you know that Tampa g products are innovative and functional. Tampa g carries a huge selection of products for Club Car, E-Z-GO, Yamaha, Par Car, and, recently, the Fair Play and Tomberlin.


Tampa g has 35 employees who, along with the Showalter family, are committed to providing the best customer service and producing the best products on the market.


Give Tampa g a call and you’ll see why Tampa g has “got you covered”.

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