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SEMA Survey: The Specialty Equipment Industry Is Open for Business

By Gavin Knapp

Between April 1–7, 2020, SEMA conducted a survey of more than 2,000 people employed in the specialty-equipment industry. The results show that even in these difficult times, our industry is resilient and working diligently to move past this disruption.

Most businesses in the industry are maintaining a positive outlook, as 87% responded that they are “impacted short-term, but will get through it” or are “business as usual.”

Business Outlook

Even with “shelter in place” rules in effect in many states, most industry facilities remain open under the “essential” business designations.  Two-thirds of industry businesses have not closed any of their sites during this time.


More than half of the industry’s employees continue to work from the company site, as the large number of production, technical, logistical, and retail positions can only be done at the jobsite. The strength of the industry is shown in the finding that 82% of employees are still on the job at their worksite or from home.


While most businesses remain open, overall sales this month have been affected by the situation. Compared to this month last year, companies are reporting current sales ranging from somewhat higher to down 20%, (34% of responses), down 30% to 40% (21% of responses), to down more than 40% (33% of responses).


For more information on the results of the survey, contact Gavin Knapp, director, SEMA Market Research, at