New Study Confirms Auto Accessories Influence More Than One Million New Vehicle Sales Every Year


Contact:  Della Domingo



-- Findings Underscore the Impact Accessories Have on Consumer Purchase
Decisions; Opportunity for Dealerships to Significantly Increase Sales Through
Accessory Programs; OEM Opportunity to Garner Market Share through Accessorized
Models -


DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (March 7, 2011) - The Specialty
Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the authoritative source for research,
data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts
industry, released the results of a new study entitled "Influence of
Accessories on New Vehicle Sales." Key findings are that accessories influence
more than 1 million new vehicle sales each year, help reinforce customer
satisfaction, and can substantially increase sales at the dealership
level.  In addition, the study shows that accessorization can influence
new car shoppers to choose vehicle platforms that are accessory-friendly, even
influencing those who do not actually accessorize their vehicle.

"This is the most extensive research our industry has conducted on the
relationship between the availability of accessories and new vehicle sales,"
said Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO. "Automotive dealers and the
specialty parts industry will be eager to see that accessories influence
vehicle choice and represent a ripe market for a substantial portion of new car
and truck buyers."

Key highlights from this study:

  • Accessories influence more than 1 million new vehicle
    purchases each year
  • Customized vehicles in a dealership showroom have the
    largest influence on new car purchase decisions - 65% of people said they
    were influenced by a customized vehicle they saw displayed in a dealer
  • One-third of "non-modifiers" said the key to buying
    accessories is to have them offered at the time of purchase - this
    reflects the importance of offering accessories in the sales process
  • Nearly one in ten "non-modifiers" are influenced to buy
    a model by seeing an accessorized version
  • One-third of modifiers are influenced to buy their
    vehicle due to availability of specialty parts
  • Those who are influenced by customization (modifiers)
    tend to advise others about new cars - modifiers bring attention to
    specific brands
  • People who make modifications have high satisfaction
    with their vehicles
  • 23% of modifiers are purchasing accessories through
  • Tires, wheels, audio, navigation and sunroofs are the
    most sought-after modifications 

The study, conducted by AutoPacific, looked at the persuasive effects
created by accessory products, including those most likely to create the greatest
influence. The study explores which vehicle types are more likely to be
purchased based on accessory options and availability; consumers' perceptions
of specialty equipment products vs. OEM aftermarket products; and
purchasing/modifying accessories through aftermarket retailers vs. dealerships.

The SEMA/Auto Pacific study was conducted using input from three distinct

  • Consumers that have modified or plan to modify their
  • Non-modifiers that have not modified a vehicle
  • OEMs (interviews related to accessory operations &

"The idea behind personalized display vehicles is that people see things
they haven't seen anywhere else when they walk into a showroom," said Beau
Boeckmann, vice president of the Galpin Ford dealership in North Hills, Calif.
"A customer doesn't have to design their own vehicle - the possibilities are
already on display in the showroom - once they see and fall in love with it,
they buy it. It's a one-stop shopping experience that gives customers the
ability to have everything they want installed at the dealership, with the
assurance of a factory warranty and the cost of modifications being financed
into the monthly payment."

The SEMA/Auto Pacific study is now available and can be accessed at
The report can be downloaded at no cost for SEMA members and $199 for

About SEMA
Founded in 1963, SEMA represents the $27.9 billion automotive
specialty-equipment industry and has 6,164 member-companies. It is the
authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information
for the automotive specialty-equipment industry. The industry provides
appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for
passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575
S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909/396-0289, or visit

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