According to responses from SEMA’s Automotive Lifestyles Survey—an annual poll of enthusiasts and their automotive hobby—vehicle-buying habits have changed from the previous year. Not only has the number of new-car purchases decreased, but the length of ownership has increased. Consumers have kept their cars longer and have delayed purchases. Many people attribute the shift to economic situations regarding fuel prices, credit and mortgage crunches and the general higher cost of living expenses.
As consumers keep their vehicles longer, their demand for specialty equipment parts on used vehicles could increase. For enthusiasts, their persistence in the hobby could help the markets for modifications of used and older vehicles, as the costs of ownership is typically less than for newer models.
As with the maintained popularity of musclecars from the ’60s, the volume of used vehicles from the late ’90s and early 2000s could keep their interest higher than brand-new vehicles if they are retained due to decreased spending. Consequently, modifications and services on these vehicles may continue to have a healthy market presence.
For more specialty-equipment market research, please visit www.sema.org/research.