Market Snapshot

Top of Mind Consumer Purchase Plan Trend—PADI Comparison

2009 Industry Segment Forecast Trend
Looking closely, wheels, tires and suspension products topped other segments for three of the past six months.

2008 Industry Segment Forecast Trend
Accessories are not on the top of consumers’ minds as much as they have been in the past. Since late 2008, the segment has continued to drop.

As SEMA continues to collect industry forecast data in the Performance Parts and Accessories Demand Index (PADI), there are some interesting trends emerging. For instance, last December, 4.6% of consumers surveyed indicated they were thinking of purchasing wheels, tires or suspension products for their vehicle within the next three months, compared to 4.2% considering accessories and 3.7% looking at performance products.

What a turnaround in January of this year when wheels, tires and suspension products dropped from first to last in the consumer survey. But as you look at the trend from December 2008 to May 2009, in three of the six months, more consumers were thinking about purchasing wheels, tires and suspension products than the other two major segments in our industry.

As we compare this year to last year, the differences are obvious, but it is also apparent that the wheels, tires and suspension products were top of mind for more consumer future buying plans. It is also noticeable how the accessories segment has really declined in the future planning of U.S. consumers.

The other interesting piece of information from the industry segment data is the averages. During the six months from December 2008 to May 2009, an average of 4.8% of consumers surveyed were thinking about purchasing performance parts for their vehicles.

And what a difference a year makes. Looking at the same segments for the same six months a year ago we find a drop and a shift.

All three segments have dropped, accessories and wheels/tires/suspension products segments by at least 50%. The performance products segment experienced a smaller drop, which put them in the top spot this year.

Accessories dropped from 7.4% in 2008 to 3.9% in 2009; performance products fell from 6.6% last year to 4.8% this year; and wheels/tires/suspension dropped from 10.2% in 2008 to 4.5% in 2009. — SEMA Research & Information Center

SEMA members can now download the entire May 2009 SEMA Demand Index (PADI) here.