Market Research Snapshot
In the Light-Truck Segment, CUVs Offer New Opportunity
By SEMA Market Research
Light trucks dominate new-vehicle production and sales in the United States, accounting for 77% of new passenger vehicles sold in 2021 and that share is expected to grow. Consumer demand for pickups and SUVs remains steady, while CUV sales are growing fast—43% of all new vehicles in 2021.
Light trucks (pickups, SUVs, CUVs and vans) have long been a cornerstone of the specialty-equipment aftermarket. Pickups and Jeeps in particular are key enthusiast market segments. But a newer segment, CUVs, has emerged as the most common vehicle type for Americans to purchase. While many of these crossover utility vehicles are used strictly as the default family vehicle, some enthusiasts see their potential to support their outdoor and even off-road hobbies. This opens up a new area of opportunity for the industry to provide accessories and upgrades for the growing CUV community. For more information on the industry, visit www.sema.org/research.
Light trucks are key vehicles for the specialty-equipment aftermarket, accounting for 60% of all retail dollar sales in 2020. Pickups in particular command a large share of auto enthusiast interest and spending, but CUVs and SUVs (particularly the Jeep Wrangler) are also big business.
Consumer interest in off-roading has grown amid COVID-related restrictions on other leisure activities, and that’s been good for business. A significant share of pickup and SUV owners say they take their trucks off-roading. More than half (56%) of businesses interviewed in the fall of 2021 saw off-road as a growth market this year.
More than 80% of new vehicles sold through 2028 are expected to be light trucks.
Upgrades, accessories, and modifications for pickups accounted for 28% of all specialty-equipment retail sales in 2020.
An estimated 64% of specialty-equipment manufacturers make parts for pickups, compared to 32% who make parts for CUVs.