SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 22, June 4, 2009

SEMA Demand Index: Performance Product Purchase Intentions Increase

  SEMA PADI May 2009
  From April of last year, both peaks and valleys in demand for specialty-equipment have prevailed, but the May index of this year is the highest in three months.
  SEMA PADI May 2009
  The SEMA PADI jumped to 32 points in May, a 6-point gain from April.

In May, the SEMA Demand Index gained some traction with a 6-point gain last month. The index jumped from 26 in April to 32 in May.

From April of last year, both peaks and valleys in demand for specialty-equipment have prevailed, but the May Index of this year is at a three-month high.

This time last year, the SEMA Demand reading came in at 46 points. In May, 9% of adult American drivers indicated that they had plans to purchase specialty-equipment products sometime within the next three months.

The SEMA Demand Index measures purchase intentions of consumers, both “mainstream and enthusiasts,” who say that they plan to purchase specialty equipment sometime within the next three months.

A random sample of 826 consumers was surveyed in May. However, because “enthusiasts” typically represent roughly 10% - 15% of U.S. drivers, the SEMA Demand Index is likely to be more of a measure of “mainstream” consumer demand.

Last month, about 3% of consumers said that they were likely to purchase wheels, tires and suspension components, a decline from 4% in April and 7% in May of 2008.

About 2% of consumers surveyed in May noted intentions to purchase appearance and accessory products over the next three months, a drop from 4% in April and 6% in May of 2008.

The good news, however, comes from the jump from 3% in April to 5% in May for performance-product-purchase intentions despite still being lower than this time last year.

The table above also shows specific demographics of consumers that contributed to the gain.

 

SEMA PADI May 2009  
Over the last three months, fullsize cars (22%) were on average the most common target vehicles for enhancement.  

 

Over the last three months, on average, fullsize cars (22%) were the most common target vehicles for enhancement or modification, followed by midsize cars (20%), pickup trucks (15%), and compact cars (13%).

Over the last three months, on average, car dealerships (27%) were the most popular purchase destinations among consumers planning to enhance their vehicles, followed by the Internet and chain auto parts stores (both 17%) and independent parts shops (14%).

When specialty-equipment buyers were asked what form their vehicle would take after customization, over the last three months the most common answer was “general personalization” (48%), followed by “street performance” (13%) and “off-road” (12%).

SEMA PADI May 2009
Over the last three months, car dealerships (27%) were the most popular purchase destinations among consumers planning to enhance their vehicles.
  SEMA PADI May 2009
Over the past three months, the percentage of consumers planning compact performance-type upgrades jumped 4% compared to last year.

The most notable gain, however, came from the percent of consumers planning compact performance-type upgrades this year compared to last.

Over the past three months, the percent of consumers planning compact performance-type upgrades jumped 4% compared to last year.

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