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New Opportunities for Graphics Manufacturers, Installers

3M is working in new ways with auto manufacturers (OEMs), dealerships and its graphics manufacturer and installer customers to provide personalized vehicle graphics. This can mean more business opportunities for you as a local graphics manufacturer or installer.

A key component is a dynamic business model that makes it easier for OEMs and dealerships to offer vehicle personalization. The business model came from our recent acquisition of Original Wraps Inc., which complements our Commercial Graphics business and strengthens our personal graphics platform. Original Wraps specializes in the creative business development, technology and design of personalization platforms for vehicles and vehicle accessories. We are expanding their business model and extending the print production to many more of our graphics manufacturer and installer customers. (Original Wraps will not be manufacturing graphics.)

If you are already working with dealerships, this program doesn't necessarily change how you do business with them today. You will need to continue to earn their business. But it will hopefully connect you to even more dealerships looking for even more graphics.

Plenty of business to go around
As you know, vehicle personalization is a growing trend among consumers, and there's plenty of room for market growth. 3M will do business through factory-authorized OEMs, as well as through local graphics manufacturers. The volumes could be significant for both.

OEMS will rely on 3M's network of qualified graphics manufacturers and installers to print and install those graphics at the dealerships. And dealerships will sometimes choose to acquire graphics directly through the local graphics manufacturer, independent of the OEM. If you are already working with dealerships, this program doesn't necessarily change how you do business with them today. You will need to continue to earn their business. But it will hopefully connect you to even more dealerships looking for even more graphics. Either way, it is 3M's goal to provide a platform to cultivate this new personalization business and direct it to our customers for production and installation. Furthermore, as OEMs and dealerships begin putting advertising dollars behind vehicle personalization (did you see Ford's spots on American Idol in 2010?), it builds market awareness for vehicle graphics in general. So it's good for the whole category.

There is potential for substantial opportunities for local graphics manufacturers and installers beyond vehicle personalization graphics. For example, there may be interest among dealerships to spruce up their own facilities with graphics for windows, walls and floors – great opportunities for you to pursue and grow your business. Beyond that, 3M is looking to apply a portion of this business model to generate leads and growth in other industries – which, in turn, would mean more leads for 3M Endorsed Graphics Manufacturers and 3M Endorsed Vehicle Graphics Installers.

To be in the best position to maximize these new opportunities, look into becoming a 3M Endorsed Graphics Manufacturer and/or a 3M Endorsed Vehicle Graphics Installer. Hundreds of graphics manufacturers and installers have already registered at www.Scotchprint.com, but there's room and opportunity for more. After you sign up, 3M will contact you. Becoming a 3M Endorsed Vehicle Graphics Installer requires some training and testing, as outlined on the Scotchprint.com website. Once endorsed, you will be listed as a 3M Endorsed Graphics Installer in our database, which is accessed by dealerships and other potential customers. Criteria for becoming a 3M Endorsed Graphics Manufacturer is being developed, but we encourage you to register your interest at Scotchprint.com.

We hope you are excited about this new opportunity. And if you aren't there yet, we hope you will keep an open mind and see how the opportunities unfold.