Market Snapshot


SEMA members know that clean-diesel technology will impact the specialty-equipment industry in the future. A SEMA survey conducted earlier this year showed that one in three members surveyed indicated that clean-diesel vehicles will have a “noticeable” to “extremely large” impact on the specialty-equipment industry. Companies that build diesel parts know that today's diesels bear little resemblance to their older siblings. Modern diesels are clean, quiet, fuel-efficient and low on emissions, hence several European and Asian automakers intend to export diesel passenger vehicles to the United States.

Modern diesels have reduced exhaust emissions by 95% and improved fuel economy by 30%, largely due to common rail fuel delivery, according to Al Krenz, director of service for Robert Bosch LLC. Combining common rail technology with new piezo injectors, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and advanced exhaust emissions-control technologies, diesels will meet the most demanding current and future United States emissions requirements.

Since high compression ratios allow diesel light trucks to achieve better horsepower and torque over their gasoline counterparts, consumers in need of larger light-duty pickups are turning to diesels. The percentage of diesel light trucks produced by automakers jumped from 6.17% in 2005 to 8.24% in 2006, according to Ward's Auto.

While light-truck production has dropped recently in response to softening new-vehicle demand, the number of diesels manufactured has actually grown in order to fuel continued demand for this light-truck powertrain. Diesels are important to the specialty-equipment industry as well: One in 10 new products introduced in the 2007 SEMA Show New Product Showcase was made for a diesel application.

In addition, diesel light-truck owners spend more money on specialty-equipment than non-diesel light-truck owners. Diesel owners spent 17% more over the last year, on average, according to the SEMA Automotive Lifestyles survey.

For more information on the diesel market, visit In addition, SEMA members can now order their 2007 SEMA Market Research CD, which houses the latest research articles and reports.

To order this CD, contact Shirley Presecan at or call 909/396-0289, ext. 118.