SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 19, May 14, 2009

Off-Road Enthusiasts Purchase Different Products, Have Different Hobbies

Top 10 Offroad Mods
Plus-sized tires are the leading purchase for the off-road enthusiasts; 29.1% higher than the average for all the enthusiasts surveyed.

Not only do off-road enthusiasts prefer to take their hobby off the beaten path, they also take a less-traveled course when making specialty-equipment purchases.

SEMA’s latest Automotive Lifestyles Survey revealed some stark differences in the way off-roaders treat their modification preferences to those of the general enthusiast. From the large database of responses submitted from participants in the most current study, SEMA is able to compare and contrast subgroups to the entire pool.

Oftentimes, the results seem all too obvious and outline the characteristics that make the segment inherently unique. Nevertheless, the nuances paint a picture about the mindset of the enthusiasts who engage each particular market.

The first table lists the top 10 modifications purchased by the self-described off-roader. The second column lists the product categories where this group spends more than their non-off-roading counterparts. For example, 49.3% of this group purchased trailer hitches, while 14.5% of traditional consumers made the same purchase.

For the active off-roader, the most popular modifications are those that increase performance, not with speed but with trail-beating agility. Exhaust systems, intake upgrades and performance fluids, such as oils and lubricants, help extract power, but the other modifications in the top 10 push chassis performance.

Larger-diameter tires, lift kits and other suspension items beef-up travel and geometry, allowing the vehicles to ford rivers and overcome obstacles.

Hobbies of Offroad Enthusiasts
Beyond the top 10, most of the subsequent products follow the same pattern. They help the enthusiast increase the vehicle’s utility and ruggedness on trail drives.

Another difference between this group and the larger body of enthusiasts is its appreciation of outdoor sports, hobbies and activities. The actual activity of off-roading is sought out by 83% of these enthusiasts. Moreover, on average, enthusiasts list camping as a hobby 36% of the time, while 69% of off-roaders listed camping as an activity they participate in regularly. Other large differences include fishing, hunting and sailing.

On the other side of the spectrum are hobbies that off-road enthusiasts participate in less frequently. Despite still being popular, activities, such as cruising the street, attending and displaying at car shows and racing, appeal less to this group than they do to others in the hobby.

Offroad Proving Grounds
The Offroad Proving Grounds at the SEMA Show have allowed exhibitors to display their off-road capabilities. Pro Comp’s Jeep Wrangler features upgrades in line with the top products sought by off-road enthusiasts.

 

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