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17% Podcast Growth Expected, Should You Get Involved?

Podcasts merge the inevitable evolution of technology with our 1st Amendment rights. While it sounds high-tech, it is actually quite simple; any person who has an IPod or any MP3 playing device can download a podcast, an audio or video file made available for syndicated download on the internet.

Mustang, 240SX and Corvette Top List of Vehicles Owned and Accessorized Most Often


The Mitsubishi EVO was among the top three compact-performance vehicles most owned
and accessorized.

As part of SEMA’s annual Automotive Lifestyles Study, more than 3,000 enthusiasts were surveyed on their accessorization and buying behavior, and results reveal that the Ford Mustang, Nissan 240SX and Chevrolet Corvette are the vehicles owned and accessorized most often in their respective categories.

Industry Retailers Report In: How Do You Compare?

The SEMA financial benchmarking program has been launched and is providing data for the industry. The focus this week is on jobbers/retailers. Following are a few nuggets gleaned from the responses for the month of January 2009.

Nearly 26% of responding jobbers/retailers say that they expect business to be up for the next three months compared to last year. We’ve heard from of number of industry executives that the first half of last year was pretty good. If that’s true and expectations come true, the first quarter of 2009 may be reasonably good.

Used Market Can Provide New Customers

Decades ago, the traditional business of selling used cars was most well associated with dishonest car salesman pitching old rust-buckets in leisure suits to college students and high school teens. During the past two decades, dealerships began to understand the value of trade-ins and undertook efforts to revolutionize the perception.

Think Global to Build Electric Vehicles, Facilities in United States

Norwegian electric-vehicle (EV) maker Think Global has aspirations of expanding into the U.S. market. Although the company is presently feeling the burdens of a sour global economy, they are motivated to expand operations into North America. Managers for the brand have announced their intention to build a technical center and manufacturing plant as early as 2010.

Enthusiast Profile: Products Purchased by Age Group

Automotive enthusiasts purchase a wide range of custom performance parts and accessories for their vehicles, so while analyzing a  "Top 10" or "Top 20" list of products purchased does give useful insight into these enthusiasts, taking a more holistic approach may prove more helpful. With that in mind, the list of all specialty-equipment products purchased by automotive enthusiasts surveyed by SEMA is listed in the table below.

Sport-Compact Hybrids Coming Soon

A 2005 Toyota Prius by Barris Kustom Industries displayed in the Making Green Cool Zone at the 2008 SEMA Show.

New Financial Benchmarking Program—How Do You Compare?

Realizing that the industry needs new tools to help companies survive the tough economy, SEMA has launched a new financial benchmarking program. Data collected thus far shows that SEMA-member manufacturers project varying levels of growth for the next three months. While 46% project sales to be down, 22% already expect that sales will make an upward trajectory within the next three months compared to this time last year.

Top-Selling Pickups Still Popular for Customization

Last month, 11.4% (index = 43) of consumers surveyed said that they planned to purchase custom parts and accessories for their vehicle sometime within the next three months, according to the February SEMA Performance Parts and Accessories Demand Index (PADI). This is actually an increase from a January index of 36, or roughly 9.6% of consumers making purchase plans.

Enthusiast Update—Where Top Accessory Purchases Are Made

Automotive enthusiasts are most likely to purchase specialty equipment on an Internet retail store website, according to recent enthusiast survey results, but that is not to say that all accessories are purchased online. Alarm systems and window tinting were most often purchased at a custom shop, while the Internet and custom shops nearly tied with respect to stereo equipment (i.e., head units, amps or speakers) purchases.

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