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With spy shots of the forthcoming Dodge Challenger coming from our own photographers and leaking onto the Web, it was time to check on the state of the Dodge parts and accessories online market. Since the Dodge badge encompasses everything from trucks to muscle cars to turbocharged compact cars, our findings run the entire spectrum of Dodge enthusiasts.

For the month of June 15-July 14, Dodge fans spent $4,093,000 (all numbers rounded to the nearest hundred) on parts and accessories, with almost $1,500,000 of that spent on Ram parts/accessories, according to data from Terapeak, a developer of market-focused research software that monitors online sales and auctions.

Although Dodge parts and accessory sales peaked between February and March, when they hit a high of $5,159,300, and have slowed since, the market has still commanded total sales of $23,140,400 since February, averaging about $4.6 million per month - certainly good news for anyone in the Mopar trade.

The most popular categories were exterior items, including in order of demand, grilles and bumpers (exterior goods themselves accounting for nearly $1M in sales), followed by lighting products (headlamps, taillights and Xenon), then interior parts/accessories (dash parts, carpets and floormats, and windows/window controls and parts).

So how’s the market for the original Challenger? Not so robust (and perhaps not surprising, given the car’s limited production run), weighing in at just a little over $24,000 last month.

Do online sales tell us anything about how parts move across countertops from brick and mortar retailers? Maybe.

Patti Freeman Evans, a senior analyst who monitors the retail industry for JupiterResearch, explains that while online sales are only a fraction of actual retail transactions, the Internet is a key influencer in buying decisions.

"We see online retail plateauing at 10-15 percent of total retail down the road - about double the penetration that catalogs ever got," Evans says.

She notes that as online commerce sites continue to develop more sophisticated tools to make purchasing easier and safer, some consumers will shift more of their wallet online.

"But that growth will really be organic, not dramatic. We look to the Internet to remain a highly influential channel for retailers to affect customer purchasing regardless of what channel the actual transaction occurs in."

Terapeak's Motors P&A Research provides sellers with access to comprehensive research on the past year of online auction data and allows users to get in-depth research reports on the competition and themselves. More at