Wheels were the fourth most-purchased specialty-equipment product in 2007, behind exhaust kits, air intakes and tires.

SEMA members looking to stay competitive in today’s market benefited from last Thursday’s webinar, “Stay Current With Specialty Aftermarket Industry Data,” presented by SEMA Market Research Analyst Ty Michael. 

“There are several reasons why we think that market research data is important and why it can help you,” said Michael. “For one, benchmarking your company's sales growth versus overall industry sales growth. Also, market data can help with planning for which products will sell for which vehicles. In addition to that, following trends could help with determining what consumers are buying and where they are buying from. Ultimately, SEMA market research will assist you in spotting potential market opportunities and ways to help grow your current market share.”

“The presentation focused on highlighting aftermarket trends over the last 10 years, the direction of the current specialty equipment market and sales opportunities within niche markets,” said SEMA Senior Director of Member Services Nathan Ridnouer.

SEMA research shows that the specialty-equipment industry has experienced a steady growth in retail sales since 1995. From 2006 to 2007, retail sales grew from $36.724 to $38.111 billion, a 3.78% increase.

Through May 2008, 24% fewer large cars and 0.2% fewer mid-size cars sold compared to the previous year. However, small-car sales showed a healthy growth of 11%. Forecasts also show that small-car sales will increase by 2%, while midsize car sales will drop 2% and large-car sales will decrease 17%.

In June, 11% of consumers surveyed said they were likely to purchase any specialty-equipment product within the next three months. This translates to 11 million households purchasing custom automotive parts within three months. Of these 11 million households, more than six million plan on purchasing specialty accessories and appearance products, more than six million households plan on purchasing racing and performance products, and more than seven million households plan on purchasing wheels, tires and suspension components.

According to SEMA market research, the top 15 products purchased in 2007 were:
1.    Exhaust Kit – Pipes/Muffler/etc.
2.    Air Intake – Performance Air Filter Replacement
3.    Tires – Performance
4.    Wheels – Custom
5.    Air Intake – Cold Air Intake Conversion
6.    Polish/Wax     
7.    Performance Fluids – Oils, Lubricants, etc.
8.    Springs/Shocks/Suspension/Sway Bars
9.    Exhaust Headers
10.  Brake Caliper/Rotor Kits
11.  Ignition Wires/Spark Plugs
12.  Battery/Battery Wraps
13.  Brake Kits – Performance 
14.  Exterior Lighting – Head Lights/Tail Lights/Lenses/Light Kit
15.  Gauges – Custom

For more original market research, click here.

For an audio or a PDF download of this webinar, along with an archive of past webinars, click here. Also, don’t miss these upcoming webinars:

  • Thursday, July 10 – “Selling Has Nothing to Do With Selling," 10 a.m. (PDT) Presented by Rick Farrell, President of Tangent Knowledge Systems.
  • Thursday, July 17 – “Leverage Your Company’s Strengths in a Difficult Market,” 10 a.m. (PDT)