Mobile Electronics: Tune in to One of the Fastest-Growing SEMA Show Segments

  mobile electronics
  Long work commutes, road trips and urban sprawl have helped propel Mobile Electronics and Technology to one of the fastest-growing segments of the SEMA Show.

As the world’s premier automotive specialty-products trade show, the 2010 SEMA Show, to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 2–5, 2010, attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries and also provides a unique opportunity for buyers and exhibitors to connect.

The Show covers the entire realm of the specialty-equipment industry and is comprised of 12 categories: Business Services; Global Tire Expo—Powered by TIA; Hot Rod Alley; Mobile Electronics & Technology; Paint, Body & Equipment; Powersports & Utility Vehicles; Racing & Performance; Restoration Marketplace; Restyling & Car Care Accessories; Tools & Equipment; Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road; and Wheels & Accessories.

Each will be highlighted separately every week in SEMA eNews. This week’s category is Mobile Electronics and Technology. So far, 106 mobile electronics companies—of which 40 are first-timers—are exhibiting in the North Hall.

Mobile Electronics and Technology represents one of the fastest-growing segments of the automotive specialty-equipment industry, in part due to long work commutes, road trips and urban sprawl. It features the latest in navigation systems, MP3 players, remote-mounted cameras, satellite TV/radio, DVD players, gaming consoles, auxiliary lighting and security systems, to name a few.

"Automobiles are becoming rolling computers, and there is a hotbed of opportunities in the auto industry for navigation and communications systems integration," said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA's vice president of communications and events.

In 2007, mobile-electronics sales grew 6.1% with retail sales of $6.426 billion compared to $6.055 billion in 2006. Although the top-six mobile-electronics items that automotive enthusiasts install are still sound-system components, the focus of this market has somewhat shifted to navigation and entertainment systems. In 1999, navigation and entertainment systems accounted for just less than 12% of total mobile electronics retail sales. By 2007, the market share had nearly doubled to 23.7%.

In 2009, 18% of SEMA Show buyers sold to the mobile-electronics market. Also, among trucks and accessories preregistered buyers, navigation systems were the top product interest at 13%, followed by audio-video systems at 12%.

"The latest in mobile technology is displayed at the Show, which is an easy revenue stream for businesses," MacGillivray said. "At the same time, OE technology becomes obsolete the minute it is introduced. With the advancement in iPads and iPods, mobile electronics is a fast-changing business category that is suited for a rapidly changing marketplace."