The new Jeep Wrangler was the most popular SUV displayed at the 2007 SEMA Show, and for good reason: as with its predecessors, the new Wrangler is built to be customized. Rugged, long-travel suspension for off-road thrashings; thick, knobby tires for muddin’; or just a simple winch, tube bumpers and off-road lights for looks and function, the Jeep Wrangler begs to be modified.
Judging solely from online auction sales, the market for Jeep Wrangler parts and accessories is plenty healthy. Through the fourth quarter of this year, enthusiasts averaged nearly $1,356,000 worth of Wrangler parts and accessories purchases, according to data from Terapeak, a developer of market-focused research software that monitors online sales and auctions.
That’s up 3% from the third quarter, but still down from second and first quarter highs. In the first quarter of this year, particularly with the approaching spring, sales averaged just less than $1,500,000 a month.
Not surprisingly, exterior parts comprise the bulk of sales, accounting for 40.5% of current fourth-quarter sales. Hard and soft tops are among the most purchased exterior parts, followed by tube bumpers, bumper carriers and doors.
Interior parts and accessories, including seats and center console modules and wheels/tires, round out the top three most purchased categories.
Patti Freeman Evans, a senior analyst who monitors the retail industry for JupiterResearch, explains that the Internet is a key influencer in buying decisions.
"We see online retail plateauing at 10%—15% of total retail down the road," she says. "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 www.terapeak.com/motors.