Historically, the Big Three have generally refrained from the performance parts and accessories business, but as the OEMs begin to embrace a $4.6 billion custom wheel segment, SEMA members have a window of opportunity to take advantage of the resulting shift in trends.
As OEMs continue to offer larger wheels, fitment issues for consumers will not be as difficult because they may be upgrading to a wheel/tire package that is much closer to or even the same rim size of the wheel/tire being replaced. The new package would simply offer different styling.
Despite the OEMs’ increasing pursuit of the custom wheel market, SEMA-conducted research finds that specialty-equipment market wheels continue to sell in large numbers. Much like the trend in production-vehicle wheel sizes, there are shifts in size patterns for specialty-equipment custom wheels.
For the future, the major bulge in the bell curve for car-based vehicles will be in the 18- to 20-inch sizes. That is not to say that larger wheels will not have a place, but the vast majority of fitments will be in this range when the customer upgrades to a larger wheel. There will also be a good market for 17-inch rims, since this size will be a popular OEM offering and customers will just replace the factory wheel with a custom wheel they find more attractive.
For trucks, the major future size range is 20 to 22 inches for upgrades with 18 and 19 inches popular for the factory-size replacement market. Chrome wheels may start to fade in popularity, but they probably will not completely go away.
For the complete article on custom wheels and performance tires, click here.
For more original SEMA research, click here.