Market Snapshot



Dodge dealers began taking orders for the new Challenger SRT8 on Monday, December 3, accepting deposits from more than 6,000 prospective owners by Wednesday, according to an AutoWeek report. Dodge sources say that the automaker will produce less than 10,000 units in its first run.

Additional Challengers will follow with lesser engine options than the SRT8’s 6.1L V8. But if the sales strength and popularity of the hot-rod market is any indication, any of the Challenger options represent a great opportunity for the specialty-equipment market.

The street-performance market, which encompasses the popular musclecar segment, has grown since 1997. According to SEMA research, retail sales grew 40% while manufacturer sales rose 36%. Another hot-rod category, the street rod and custom niche, grew even more dramatically in the same nine-year period, with retail sales growing 64% and manufacturer sales climbing 60%.

SEMA surveyed automotive magazine subscribers this year to learn how enthusiasts customize their cars, receiving 3,354 responses to an e-mail survey sent September–November. About 37% were classified as musclecar enthusiasts (those who indicate an interest in musclecars and subscribe to musclecar magazines), while only 14% indicated little or no interest in musclecars.

A brief look at how these consumers modify their vehicles is shown in the table below. Notice that musclecar enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts buy many of the same products, though the order of preference varies significantly. 

Below are the top 20 hot rods owned by the musclecar enthusiasts surveyed.

For further insight into the musclecar market, visit for a copy of the 2006 SEMA Hot Rod Report, or contact the Market Research department at 909/396-0289, ext 125.

Source: Dale Jewett "Dodge Challenger SRT8-Going, Going..." AutoWeek Daily Drive, December 6, 2007