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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.

Coming Trends to the Scion Market

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

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.

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.

Enthusiasts Prefer Quality Over Name Brand, Selection

Above all other products attributes enthusiasts overwhelmingly prefer quality.

SEMA research has undertaken a study to determine what matters most to enthusiasts. In recent surveys consumers were given the opportunity to weigh in on the features they prefer from manufacturers. In two different scenarios—one in which the characteristics of the products were listed and another when the question was left open for respondents to fill in—the results ended the same. In both cases, quality was more important than name brand, performance and even price.

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.

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