International Research

Swiss Automotive Aftermarket

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The overall Swiss market demand for automotive parts, aftermarket products, accessories as well as specialty equipment was valued in 2006 at USD 949 million and is forecast to grow 3-4% over the next two years. In the past few years, U.S. exporters have garnered a small market share, registering USD 45 million in 2006 or 4.8%. Germany, which traditionally has had a strong stronghold in the market, captured the lion’s share with a total exceeding 47% of the market, followed by France with 14% and Japan with 12%.

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Specialty Automotive Aftermarket in Australia

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Australia, a country of 20 million people, is world famous for a citizenry whose love of cars and vehicle customization is on a par with that of the United States, and perhaps more so in some sectors. With more than 14 million vehicles and a population a mere one-tenth the size of the U.S., Australia has one of the highest ownership of vehicles per capita in the world.

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Japanese Aftermarket: An Overview of the Regulatory Situation

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In Japan, there are “Safety Standards”to ensure the safety of vehicles and prevent environmental pollution. Vehicles that do not meet the “Safety Standards”set out under the Road Vehicles Act cannot be driven on public roads.

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Turkey Diesel Market

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The Diesel-engine vehicle market in Turkey is booming, due to increasing fuel prices. The rapid increase of the fuel prices in Turkey has changed the buying habits of Turkish automobile owners. In fact, Turkish customers are paying the highest gas prices in all of Europe. On every liter of fuel, almost 56% paid is tax. The current price of fuel per liter is $2.35. As a result, owners are looking for cheaper alternate solutions. The result is that that in 2006, the market share of diesel automobiles reached 49% of the total sales market in 2006.

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Specialty Automotive Aftermarket in Spain

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Spain car sales are expected to achieve a new record with volume projected to reach more than 1.6 million units in 2005. The record follows a 9% sales increase that resulted in an unprecedented 1.5 million new passenger vehicle sales in 2004. Small-size cars are the most popular choice of Spanish consumers, although light truck sales are growing rapidly and represented 18% of the total in 2004. Spain is the fifth-largest car market in Europe, trailing Germany, France, the UK and Italy. Spain is among the top five markets for the specialty industry and is therefore very important. “We do more business in Spain than we do in France,” noted Thomas Wunderlich of McGard.

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Specialty Automotive Aftermarket in Brazil

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Brazil has all the ingredients to grow into a strong market for specialty and performance parts and accessories. “The people are passionate about cars, trucks and motorsports and there is great interest among young people in tuning,” noted SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting, who recently returned from a trip to Brazil.

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Specialty Equipment Market in Germany

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The German market, the largest in Western Europe, is at the forefront of producing and accessorizing cars which look good and drive fast. With its renowned Autobahn, on which speeds of 200 km an hour (125 mph) are common, a highly developed culture of vehicle customization exists. From upscale specialized tuners such as Brabus, AC Schnitzer, Kamei and Irmscher who can charge upwards of $200,000 for a full vehicle customization to the smaller multibrand accessorization shops, German motorists have a wide array of options with which to accessorize their VWs, Opels and BMWs and the other cars that make up their 44 million passenger vehicle market.

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Western Europe: Prospects for Specialty Products

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United States specialty product suppliers can succeed with marketing and sales efforts in the vast—168 million registered vehicles—European market. But given the differences in the European marketplace in terms of vehicle mix, consumer preferences and government regulation, it is not enough for American companies to simply ship merchandise primarily designed for U.S. vehicles to outlets in Europe, sit back and expect volume sales on a scale comparable to that which is established in the States. For some companies, those with appropriate products and applications, Europe is and could increasingly become a lucrative sales arena.

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Specialty Automotive Aftermarket in the U.K.

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The U.K. market, the fourth largest in Western Europe, is also one of the easiest markets in Western Europe for SEMA-member companies to gain a foothold. The lack of language barriers and the relatively regulation-free environment regarding vehicle customization form a basis for exploring the market. These two factors, coupled with a sizable and growing portion of British consumers who seek to personalize their vehicles, make the U.K. market attractive for specialty equipment companies.

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