Dee Zee: America’s Favorite Heartland Manufacturer & Crossovers

Each generation defines a new set of priorities that become driving factors in OE vehicle development. And that’s true since the birth of the automobile. “When our grandfathers came back from the war, they wanted big Detroit steel,” said Josh Knichel of Dee Zee. Fast forward a few decades to the onset of the Great Recession, with unprecedented hikes at the pump and an unstable economy, and that concept of go-big-or-go-home started dwindling. Owners could no longer afford the daily maintenance of desirable gas guzzlers like the Suburban, Expedition, Excursion, or Tahoe. And so, the path was set for crossovers.

Crossovers, Here to Stay

While they’re head turners, SUVs carry the hefty baggage of heavier, bulkier bodies, larger fuel tanks, and lower mpg ratings. And then there’s the discussion points of drivability and parking restraints. Because, you know, it’s like parallel parking a yacht in New York City. “We, too, were tired of driving a mini school bus and fighting for space in the garage,” added Knichel.

A promising new segment was stirring for some time; crossovers received their big break and flooded the market with functional, fuel-efficient models that delivered affordable dependability during such strenuous flux in the market. A bonus, consumers needn’t trade cargo space, styling, and comfort for practicality, affordability, fuel economy, and convenience.

The Honda CR-V, now in its 20th year of production, was an early class leader with a niche following but little mainstream acceptance. What some market analysts considered a short-lived trend is now a new norm, paving the way for models like the Jeep Renegade, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Kia Sorento, and Hyundai Tuscon. Furthermore, as consumer demand continues to skyrocket, more dollars are being earmarked for R&D and marketing efforts in this segment.

Dee Zee, Filling a Need

Brands like Dee Zee have long-standing partnerships at the OE level, thus recognizing a need for practical and stylish aftermarket boards on their platforms. “Few manufacturers are including running boards on crossover models right off the assembly line. And the ones that are available aren’t very attractive,” said Knichel. In true Dee Zee fashion, the team proves that consumers, indeed, can have it all. Now you can add some toughness around the edges with their NXc Crossover Running Boards.

Check back over the next two weeks to learn more about the revamped, modern-day SUV/CUV market and hot vehicle spotlights.

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