Custom Wheels & Accessories Market Continues to Shine at SEMA Show

  The Wheels & Accessories SEMA Show section obtains the highest percentage of returning companies than any other market-specific exhibit area of the 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 Wheels & Accessories. So far, 121 wheels and accessories companies—of which 24 are first-timers—are exhibiting in the South Hall’s lower level.

Wheels are often the first product consumers install on their vehicles. First introduced to the United States market around 1977, specialty/performance tires often follow the custom-wheel market. What started out as a hot-rod or racing-only item has now gone mainstream so that every vehicle on the road is a potential candidate for custom wheels. In fact, about a third of all new-vehicle buyers modify their vehicle by adding custom wheels. Consumers who upgrade the wheels on their vehicles will usually also purchase higher-performance tires.

The Wheels & Accessories Show section obtains the highest percentage of returning companies than any other market-specific exhibit area of the Show. Exhibitors typically put the future of wheels on display to capture the attention of buyers. Driven primarily by aesthetics, this section features the latest innovations in covers, plating and wheel accessories.

The percentage of cars produced with custom wheels grew from 40.3% in 1996 to 67.7% in 2007, while light trucks grew from 70.9% to 79% during the same time period. Retail sales of custom wheels increased 100% from $2.340 billion in 2002 to more than $4.686 billion in 2007.

Among preregistered buyers of the 2009 SEMA Show, 16% said wheels were among their top product interests, while 23% of international buyers selected agreed. Forty-two percent of all preregistered buyers and 37% of international buyers carried wheels. Ten percent of trucks and accessories preregistered buyers selected wheels as a top product interest. Thirty-eight percent of buyers sold to the wheels market.