In August, the SEMA Performance Parts and Accessories Demand Index (PADI) improved by 8 points, or 21%, going from 35 in July to 43 this month. An index value of 43 translates to 12% of adult American drivers (or approximately 12 million-plus households) indicating that they had plans to purchase specialty-equipment products sometime within the next three months.
Only 10% of consumers surveyed said that they plan to purchase specialty equipment in July. So a jump to 12% in August means that potentially 2 million more households plan to purchase custom parts and accessories.
Seven percent of consumers said that they were likely to purchase wheels, tires and suspension components within the next three months, up from 6% last month, but down from 19% that indicated so this time last year.
While 6% said that they were likely to purchase racing and performance products in August, this has remained unchanged from 6% in July. However, 11% of consumers surveyed this time last year said that they would purchase racing and performance products within the following three months.
In August, 6% surveyed said they were likely to purchase accessories and appearance products within the next three months, up from 4% in July, but down from 8% this time last year.
Over the last three months, on average, pickups (20%) were the most common target vehicles for enhancement or modification, followed by fullsize cars (15%), compact cars (15%) and midsize cars (14%).
Over the last three months, on average, car dealerships (23%) were the most popular purchase destinations among those planning to enhance their vehicles, followed by the Internet (17%), independent auto parts stores (14%) and chain auto parts store (11%).
When specialty-equipment buyers were asked what form their vehicle would take after customization, this month the most common answer was “general personalization” (47%) followed by "street performance" (13%), “restoration” (12%), “off-road” (9%), “hot rod” (4%) and “compact performance” (4%).
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