SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 23, June 11, 2009

Which States Have the Most V8s?

 V8 Registrations by State
 California, Texas and Florida lead with the highest gross total of eight-cylinder engines.
  V8 Vehicle Registrations
 Wyoming, North Dakota and Alaska have the highest proportion of eight-cylinder engines in the United States. Hawaii, Rhode Island and Connecticut have the lowest.

For companies keen on focusing their marketing and distribution towards specific products, it pays to know where your customers are located. If you cater to the V8 crowds, are you targeting the right markets?

According to data received from Experian Automotive, nearly 1 out of 4 registered vehicles has an eight-cylinder engine. The data is archived from 1967 to the most current registrations and can be broken down by vehicle make, model and general features. While Volkswagen has a few W8 engines in their Passat and other inline- and flat-8 engines do exist, the majority are in the standard V configuration.

In total, nearly 55 million eight-cylinder engines are currently registered in the United States. These do not necessarily include the totals for crate engines, remanufactured blocks, off-road and racing engines or those used in engine conversions to modernize older vehicles. To obtain those figures would be extremely difficult.

Nevertheless, the information supplied here is based on the reported files from registration agencies and do represent the overall market from a bird's eye perspective.

Does engine size and configuration correlate to vehicle population on a state-by-state basis? The short answer is no. Some states have higher proportions of larger engines while others have similarly disproportionate numbers of diesels, compact cars, light trucks and a host of other characteristics.

Since the V8 is a staple among high-performance enthusiasts, off-roaders and practically every specialty-equipment segment (with few exceptions), it may be beneficial to refocus attention on areas of the country with higher amounts of engine density.

In other words, if you manufacture or supply parts for large displacement powerplants, exploring these markets could be fruitful.

Additionally, as vehicle manufacturers continue aggressively addressing fuel economy and vehicle-emissions standards they will more than likely downsize their engine portfolios. In some cases, manufacturers are already beginning to consider turbocharged six-cylinder engines that will supplant eight-cylinder ones. The areas with the highest V8 concentrations may face the most dramatic cultural shifts as they adopt these newer engines.

Currently, Wyoming, North Dakota and Alaska have the highest proportion of eight-cylinder engines in the United States. Perhaps their rural nature lends itself to needing pulling power for towing and crossing rugged terrain. Conversely, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Connecticut have the lowest proportion of large displacement engines.

Along the same lines, California, New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia all share large urban areas as geographical influences. Their metropolitan nature prescribes some amount of efficiency for vehicle choices, either in size, emissions or fuel economy. —SEMA Research & Information Center

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