SEMA News - June 2009

SEMA News-June 2009-Chris Kersting 

See Where You Are
to Understand Where You Are Going

The automotive world is in flux. While it is impossible to foresee every wave in the sea change that is upon us, it is imperative that we understand where we are today in order to chart the best course for tomorrow. SEMA’s research reports offer crucial insights into consumer purchase intentions, vehicle registration patterns and market niche trends.

For instance, in addition to traditional historic data—looking back at previous quarters or years—SEMA’s research department now publishes the Performance Accessory Demand Index (PADI) every month. SEMA researchers regularly query approximately 1,000 randomly selected consumers, asking about their plans for vehicle modifications within the next 90 days. The answers provide forward-looking indicators of demand and set benchmarks to chart changes and trending. This is an important forecasting tool at any time, but particularly during this time of rapid change and the need for lean operations.

The SEMA research and information department also recently developed a valuable new tool—the Financial Benchmarking Program. This is a report that allows participating SEMA members to compare themselves against peer-company benchmarks in such areas as gross and net sales revenue, cost of sales, marketing expense, productivity measures and other key metrics. The program is available to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, and the data is collected and analyzed confidentially by an independent research service. Those companies who participate as data providers are given a report specific to their company. While SEMA has offered benchmarking data previously, there has never before been anything nearly so definitive in the industry. The Financial Benchmarking Program can illustrate what companies are doing right and where they need to improve to stay competitive. As we aggregate this data, the research team will publish summary Financial Benchmark reports on the SEMA website. The first set of comprehensive results will be posted just about the time member companies receive this issue of SEMA News. SEMA will publish the data from both the financial benchmarks and the PADI surveys side by side, providing a focused set of forecasting tools.

The research and information department also continues to generate a wide range of reports about the industry’s niche markets. And while the PADI is a report of consumer purchase intentions across the board, SEMA also publishes another set of survey reports focused on enthusiast trends and purchase intentions. The reports are published individually and are also included in SEMA’s custom reports on the various markets.

SEMA’s research efforts incorporate visits to member companies and attendance at a full array of automotive events, including WD and jobber conferences and meetings. The association also makes available registration data for vehicles by state and publishes that information to help members forecast production and inventory levels for regional markets. The information is available not only by brand, but also by model and, in some cases, engine and trim level.

If you would like more information about SEMA’s research programs and the reports available, visit SEMA's research department or contact Shirley Presecan at 909/396-0289, x118. During these extraordinary times, step up your capabilities by using these contemporary and valuable SEMA reports. They will help your company if you take the time to use them!

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