From April to June, the percentage of women who planned to purchase wheels, tires or suspension components rose from 10% to 17%, outpacing the purchase plans for men during the same period, according to SEMA research.

In April, 16% of male and 10% of female consumers surveyed by research firm TechnoMetrica said they planned to buy wheels, tires or suspension components. That number spiked to 20% for men and 12% for women in May. Men cooled on their purchase plans in June, dropping to 15%, while 17% of women said they planned to buy.

Overall, 16% of consumers said they planned to seek out wheels, tires or suspension components in the following three months. Contrast this with 9% who said they planned to buy accessories and appearance products, and 8% who planned on racing and performance product purchases.

"Our surveys have shown that while men tend to customize their vehicles for performance gains, women tend to look at vehicle customization as a form of self-expression," says SEMA research analyst Ty Michael. "It comes as no surprise that there is a growing number of women planning to buy wheels and tires for their vehicles."

The data, commissioned by SEMA from market research firm TechnoMetrica, comes from a nationally representative sample of about 1,000 consumers, representing approximately 100 million U.S. households.

For more insight into the planning and purchasing habits of enthusiasts, read the "2007 Trends and Forecasts Quarterly Update-Q2," available at