The restoration niche has been enjoying a steady growth in retail sales since 1994, with accessories and appearance products largely responsible for 2007 sales of $1.5 billion.
In 2007, the accessory and appearance segment constituted 43.7% of the restoration market. The suspension and handling category followed with a 31.5% share, and performance products rounded out the market with a 24.8% share.
While performance products and suspension/handling products have alternated between second and third place, the accessory and appearance category has been the leader since 1994.
The restoration niche has received a boost in recent years from the publication of record prices brought by vintage vehicles. Additional enthusiasm can be attributed to an increased interest among Americans in collectibles in general, as well as the involvement of celebrities in vehicle restoration and collecting.
Much of the driving force behind the restoration market comes from baby boomers. Today, the baby-boomer population is one of the largest in the United States, representing approximately 28% of the total population. It is expected that baby boomers will grow nostalgic as they age. If this proves true in regards to vehicles, then the restoration niche should continue to experience a healthy growth.
Other groups are also joining the ranks of vehicle restoration enthusiasts. There are numbers of Gen X and Gen Y consumers who are gaining interest in restoration. These new enthusiasts will not necessarily restore the same vehicles as their predecessors. Older Japanese-made cars are gradually joining the ranks of prized restored vehicles.
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