Market Snapshot


In September, the SEMA Performance Parts and Accessories Demand Index (PADI) gained some much needed momentum. The PADI improved by five points, or 12%, going from 43 in August to 48 in September.

The SEMA PADI, and each of the three sub-indices, is a weighted composite index computed relative to its own baseline value, calculated by taking an average of January through March 2007 raw percentages. This average is then set to 100, and each month’s index is computed relative to the change from its baseline.

The indices track consumer plans to purchase specialty-equipment products within the next three months of each respective survey. The indices, and their movements, are projectable to the national market for specialty-equipment products, which consists of more than 114 million U.S. households.

A September index value of 48 translates to about 13% of adult American drivers (or approximately 13+ million households) indicating that they had plans to purchase specialty-equipment products sometime within the next three months.

Roughly 12% of consumers surveyed said that they plan to purchase specialty equipment in August. So a jump to 13% in September means that, potentially, 1 million more households plan to purchase custom parts and accessories over the next three months.

A little more than 6% of consumers said that they were likely to purchase wheels, tires and suspension components within the next three months, down only slightly from last month but less than half from this time last year.

While nearly 6% said that they were likely to purchase racing and performance products in September, about a half of a percentage point jump from August, 9% of consumers surveyed this time last year said that they would purchase racing and performance products within the following three months.

In September, 6% surveyed said that they were likely to purchase accessories and appearance products within the next three months, up nearly half a percentage point from the previous month 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 compact cars (17%), fullsize and midsize cars (16% each).

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 (18%), independent auto parts stores (14%) and chain auto parts stores (13%).

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