From FullSize Pickups to Adventure Vans to CUVs, Trucks Continue to Drive the Specialty-Equipment Market

Compiled by SEMA Magazine Editors


It’s no secret that the truck market continues to be a prime mover for the automotive aftermarket. More than half of all vehicles on the road in the United States are either a pickup, an SUV or a crossover CUV, and that market share is increasing each year. According to the most recent issue of “SEMA Future Trends,” the light-truck segment—which includes pickups, vans, SUVs and CUVs—is forecast to account for close to 80% of all new-vehicle sales by 2027, with pickup trucks alone making up nearly 50% of all new vehicles sold.

As a rule, healthy truck and SUV sales bode well for the aftermarket. Parts and accessories for pickups alone account for nearly a third of specialty-
equipment sales, according to the latest “SEMA Pickup Accessorization Report,” with more than $16 billion in annual sales. If one includes SUVs, crossovers and vans in the mix, that number grows to more than $30 billion yearly—more than half of the total specialty-equipment market. What’s more, roughly half of all late-model pickups on the road have been modified with specialty-equipment parts, with more expensive HD models most likely to receive upgrades, and more than a quarter of pickup truck drivers purchase
aftermarket equipment for their trucks each year.

What follows here is a brief overview of the various segments of the truck market as represented at the 2023 SEMA Show.

image 2



Jeeps and Off-Road Trucks

According to the latest “SEMA State of the Industry Report” (see p. 22), SEMA-member manufacturers see the off-road segment as holding the single greatest opportunity for growth in 2024, as the“off-road” vehicle aftermarket expands into the overlanding, adventure van and crossover CUV arenas. While the Jeep Wrangler has long been the flagship of this segment, the new Ford Bronco has emerged as a serious contender, attracting a whole new generation of enthusiasts to the joys of off-roading. Most popular aftermarket products among this group are oversized tires and wheels, suspension products, drivetrain upgrades, bumpers, bed accessories and auxiliary lighting.


Overlanders and Adventure Vans

The overlanding market has shown little sign of slowing down, with more than half of SEMA-member manufacturers seeing the segment as a continued growth opportunity for 2024, a level of optimism surpassed only by the off-road segment previously mentioned. It should come as no surprise since owners of these vehicles comprise an affluent market demo-
graphic with plenty of disposable income to spend on their builds, which often use Mercedes Sprinter or RAM ProMaster vans as their platforms. Aftermarket parts most sought-after for these vehicles include suspension upgrades, bumpers, roof racks, tents and snorkel kits, as well as comfort and convenience items such as refrigerators and camp-kitchen gear.

image 3

Small and Midsize Trucks

They’re back. After being neglected to the point of near-extinction over the course of two decades, small and midsize trucks have seen a resurgence in popularity in the ’20s, thanks in no small part to the escalation in gas prices in recent years. The Ford Maverick has been a hit with consumers since its debut in ’21, the Honda Ridgeline just enjoyed its best-ever year for sales, and the all-new ’24 Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger have raised the bar in the midsize segment. They’re often built for off-road use due to their relatively light weight and compact, trail-friendly dimensions, so aftermarket opportunities for these vehicles are myriad.

image 4

Street Trucks

Slammed and (often) cammed, the street truck market continues to support a robust aftermarket. Among classic fullsize trucks, pre-’88 GM square-bodies have proven a reliably popular build platform, though demand for parts for later-model ‘80s and ‘90s Ford and Chevy OBS trucks has exploded in recent years. Restoration and restomodding have also attracted new enthusiasts to the segment, with NOS parts makers enjoying solid sales. Other popular upgrades for these vehicles include suspension kits, often with air assist, chassis and brake upgrades, and interior products such as high-end audio systems.

image 5


An $8 billion market, crossovers are the hottest-selling OEM vehicle segment at the moment, and while the aftermarket for these vehicles has been slow to develop, companies are now marketing a variety of products for them with an emphasis on the “lifestyle” element: rooftop tents, auxiliary lighting, racks for bikes and kayaks, and small pack trailers that allow owners of “soft roaders” such as the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Outback to enjoy the pleasures of overlanding without the need of a larger van
or pickup.

image 6

image 7

Electric Trucks and EV Conversions

While they’re currently an infinitesimally small part of the overall EV market, EV trucks and conversions are attracting the notice of an increasing number of specialty-equipment companies, and a variety of electric and EV-converted trucks could be found at the 2023 SEMA Show. As the OEs roll out new electrified product such as the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevrolet Silverado EV and Tesla Cybertruck, and as consumer demand for EVs bounces back from its present slump, we’re likely to see more aftermarket companies offering EV conversion or retrofit kits for older trucks


About the SEMA Truck & Off-RoadAlliance


image 8

Members of the SEMA Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA) represent the collective interest of its members through a single, powerful voice that can play a significant role in shaping the industry. They are joined together to form a potent coalition whose mission is to determine the shape and future of the truck and off-road accessory industry.

image 9

TORA is council whose member companies manufacture, distribute, sell and/or install accessories for off-road vehicles, light-duty pickup trucks, ATVs, or provide services to the off-road or truck accessory industry. To learn more about TORA and SEMA’s other industry councils, visit