Market Snapshot


For urban-lifestyle enthusiasts—those who favor today’s flashy Cadillacs and Chryslers, among other machines—audio and video systems are just as important to their automotive personality as the 22-inch wheels, window tint and exhaust kits they purchase.

According to SEMA research, amplifiers are the most popular piece of A/V gear that urban-lifestyle enthusiasts buy; 59.4% of survey respondents saying that they owned one. Subwoofers (58.6%) and midrange speaker/component sets (54%) followed.

But music alone is not enough for these enthusiasts. Forty-three percent own an in-car DVD player, 32.5% own a flip-out or fixed-monitor head unit, 30.6% have a flip-down-monitor unit, and 27.8% screen their movies on headrest-monitor units.

You can read more of the Urban-Lifestyle Market Update, produced by SEMA’s Research & Information Center, in the July 2007 issue of SEMA News. Additionally, SEMA members can receive complimentary copies of various market reports as another benefit to being a SEMA member by visiting

As is the case with any niche market, products that accessorize the vehicle may be subject to federal safety or emissions laws. States also have jurisdiction to enact safety regulations covering equipment not regulated at the federal level. Examples of products potentially covered by state rules include "optional" or "accessory" lighting equipment, sound limits for exhausts and speakers, window tinting, tire size and vehicle height.

Additionally, disclaimers such as "show vehicle" or "off-road use only" have no legal meaning or very narrow application. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to be aware of varying state laws and regulations in order to meet compliance requirements. SEMA, through its Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C., monitors these proposals and actively seeks to shape laws and regulations so that they do not unnecessarily preclude options based on style and performance.

SEMA encourages manufacturers to take part in the process as well to protect against proposals that are not supported by a demonstrated safety need. SEMA maintains information about these issues under the "Legislation and Regulations" section at