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Despite Market Downturn, 37% of SEMA Members Report Sales Growth

It’s no secret that specialty-equipment sales declined in 2008 as a result of our economy taking a turn for the worse during the latter half of last year. Despite this market contraction, 37% of SEMA members recently surveyed noted that their company’s sales actually increased in 2008 over 2007.

New Crossovers and Small Cars Come to New York Auto Show

The 2009 New York International Auto Show presented several new and refreshed vehicles for consumers to eye their next possible vehicle purchase. Automakers also unveiled some concept and prototype vehicles to test consumers’ reactions and get a sense of whether their latest design efforts would bode well for future buyers. While attending the press days that led up to the show, the unveiling put forth by automakers revealed a continued shift towards small cars and crossovers.

Scion Owners Like New iQ: What Do You Think?

The Scion iQ concept highlights the brand’s original bold design concept and, most important, accessory-friendly approach.

Enthusiasts Shifting to Personalize Used Over New Vehicles

SEMA recently highlighted the market swing from new to used vehicles with industry experts continuing to lower their forecasts as new-vehicle sales fall for 2009. For example, in February, J.D. Power predicted 2009 total new-vehicle sales to reach a mere 10.4 million units, down one million units from its forecast of just a month prior.

1 in 3 Classic Pontiac Owners Plan to Race This Year

The Pontiac GTO (“The Judge”), shown here at the 2008 SEMA Show, was a favorite among performance enthusiasts and remains a classic. Owners of this and other '60s- and '70s-era Pontiacs will race through 2009.

Sales Continue to Fall, but Executives Think the Worst Is Over

General Motors deliveries are down 42.5%. Toyota posted a 37% sales decline. Ford reported a drop by 38.1%. Yet, executives remain optimistic.

With figures like these, it is hard to believe that manufacturers are finding optimism. GM had total deliveries of 155,380 in March, down 44.7% from a year ago, but cited a 23% increase in deliveries from February.

Consumers Shift From Restyling to Off-Road and Street Performance Mods

Recent SEMA Performance Parts and Accessories Demand Index (PADI) results show that consumers are slowly shifting away from general personalization and heading toward a niche-focused theme for their customization plans. Over the past three months, more consumers are eying the hot-rod, off-road and street-performance markets compared to this time last year.

Coming Trends to the Scion Market

Scion displayed this second-generation xB in its booth at the 2008 SEMA Show.

Americans Keep Cars Longer, Create Opportunities for Specialty-Equipment Businesses

More Americans are keeping their cars longer, according to a recent report from R.L. Polk & Company. The automotive research firm found that the median age of passenger cars in operation increased to 9.4 years in 2008, breaking the previous two-year record high of 9.2 years.

Trucks are also aging, the median age rising to 7.6 years from 7.3 years in 2007.

This trend spells bad news for both new- and used-car dealers, but opportunity for specialty-equipment businesses.

93% of Honda Enthusiasts Modify their Vehicles for High Performance

K Sport exhibited this Honda Integra Type R (Acura RSX) at the 2008 SEMA Show with some of the most current products and styles indicative of the Honda tuning market.

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