Market Snapshot

Accessories or Performance Parts: Report Shows What Pickup Owners Buy Most

Primary Use of Truck
Fullsize pickups are most often used as personal vehicles, but a significant percentage of consumers surveyed use their truck for both personal- and business-related activities.

Average amount spent on accessories
Depending on fullsize pickup truck driven, owners spent about $800 to nearly $6,000 on accessories for their truck.

Top 10 Accessories Planned Fullsize Trucks
Heavy-duty trailer hitches and running boards were among the top accessories purchased in both 2008 and 2006.

Despite a 24% drop in new fullsize pickup truck sales in May compared to last year, areas of opportunity still exist within this market still popular among automotive enthusiasts. To help pinpoint market hot spots, SEMA provides its members with several resources as part of their overall SEMA membership package, including market research reports designed to help decision-making processes, which are especially crucial during tough economic times.

One report, the 2008 Light Truck Report, offers readers vehicle sales statistics, consumer buyer behavior and much more. A short excerpt of the report follows:

An important component of the pickup truck owner survey* was the inclusion of data collection involving 42 different accessories. The list includes tonneau covers, running boards, wheels and navigation systems, to name a few.

Respondents were asked which purchases they have already made as well as which, if any, purchases they plan to make in the future to further accessorize their pickups. On average, fullsize-pickup owners have spent $1,831 on accessories. Cadillac Escalade EXT owners have spent the most, averaging $5,814, while Dodge Ram owners have spent the least ($819).

According to the survey results, the mean age for fullsize-pickup owners is 49. The majority, 53%, of fullsize-truck owners have an annual household income of $50,000 to $100,000. And more than 60% of respondents have some college education or are college graduates.

Midsize pickup-truck owners tend to spend less on accessories. The survey respondents spent $835 on average for aftermarket accessories. Midsize pickup truck-owners therefore spend about 54% less than fullsize pickup-truck owners.

Honda Ridgeline owners spend more on accessories, with an average purchase amount of $1,441. Ford Ranger owners spend an average of $565, landing them at the bottom of the list as far as amount purchased.

The survey results indicate that the mean age of midsize-pickup owners is 52. Forty-seven percent of midsize pickup-truck owners have an annual income between $50,000 and $100,000. About 66% of the owners have had some college education or are college graduates.

Fullsize-Pickup Market
There were nine different fullsize-pickup models included in the 2008 Foresight study. The owners were asked about the primary use of the vehicle. Seventy-two percent of those asked indicated the truck was primarily for personal use. Only 4% of the pickup owners indicated their vehicle was primarily used for business.

The average amount already spent on accessories by fullsize-pickup owners is $1,831. This is up 25% from $1,461 in 2006. Cadillac Escalade EXT owners have, on average, spent more on accessories. In fact, Escalade EXT owners spent more than twice as much on accessories than Chevy Avalanche owners and seven times as much as Dodge Ram owners.

The top accessories purchased or planned for purchase by fullsize-pickup owners do not include any performance products. The top accessory overall is the heavy-duty trailer hitch.

Compared to 2006, the percentage of owners who have installed or who plan to install one of these increased eight percentage points. The following table lists the top 10 accessories for 2008, including their 2006 survey percentages.

The full version on the 2008 Light Truck Report can now be downloaded here

Non-SEMA members with questions about purchasing this report can contact Shirley Presecan at — SEMA Research & Information Center

*A description of the survey is provided in an earlier section of this report: This survey focused on eight midsize- and nine fullsize-pickup models. The sample sizes chosen for each model were based on vehicle sales. Data from more than 1,600 respondents is included. The survey itself was conducted between February 21 and April 21, 2008. To qualify, respondents were required to be current owners or lessees and principal drivers of 2007 and 2008 model-year pickups. The respondents were screened to eliminate automobile-related employment.