In response to growing member interest in China's specialty-equipment market, SEMA recently researched the most popular aftermarket products in China, finding intake, exhaust, and wheels/tires the top three most popular modifications in the tuning and performance segment.
A 2007 SEMA survey of tuning shop managers in northern, eastern and southern China identified the top 10-selling products as: intake kits and air filters, exhaust, wheels and tires, suspension components (shocks, springs, coil-overs, sway and tie bars), brakes (pads, rotors, lines, calipers), ignition (spark plugs, leads), electronics (gauges, timers, controllers, ECU), body kits, turbo, and transmission parts.
Within the "car beauty" segment, as it's called in China, the U.S. Commercial Service noted that seat-back video displays, car care products, vehicle paint and leather upholstery are among the most popular purchases. Industry insiders also identified window film/tint as a top sales product available at chain stories and car beauty shops.
An estimated 600 car tuning shops account for retail sales between $77 million–$94 million (USD), while another 400 shops selling 4WD products account for sales of $49 million (USD). These outlets sell a range of products, including engine parts, handling, braking and exterior styling items. These performance/tuning shops carry out exhaust, intake, chip tuning and turbo upgrades.
There are also approximately 26,000 car beauty stores in China serving a portion of the market conservatively worth $12.5 billion to $15 billion (USD) retail. Among the products these shops sell and sometimes install include window tint, car-care, stickers, electronics and in-car accessories. Aftermarket wheels are also available at the larger car beauty shops.
Currently there are no major Chinese specialty-equipment importers in the mold of larger wholesale distributors found in the United States, but there is a growing network of independent tuning shops throughout China.
With the exception of body kits, which have declined in sales due to recent government crackdowns in Shanghai, the current popular accessories and performance products should continue to experience strong sales relative to the growth of the Chinese specialty-equipment market.
This information is an excerpt from a new SEMA report on the Chinese specialty market. Members can download this report and other information on international markets at www.sema.org/international.