SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 6, February 12, 2009

Jeep Owners Plan to Keep, Modify Their Vehicles

Jeep Wrangler at SEMA Show
Nearly 85% of Jeep enthusiasts surveyed are happy with their current ride and have no plans to sell or trade.

From military service to adventure vehicles, Jeeps have always been capable of tackling obstacles thrown in their path. Chrysler has seen better days, but among enthusiasts the Jeep brand remains a strong favorite and is poised to overtake the proverbial financial bounder.

Owners of Jeeps from early Willys to modern Libertys were surveyed during January for their take on the hobby as it looks for the coming year. Roughly 100 self-described enthusiasts—those that subscribe to enthusiast magazines and visit off-roading websites/forums—were polled about their Jeeps, the majority of which appreciate their vehicles for dual purposes: daily drivers and weekend warriors. 

Jeep Wrangler at SEMA Show
Despite rough financial conditions and a tight credit market, those surveyed plan to spend the equivalent of last year's amount during the coming year. On average, enthusiasts are gauging to spend $1,969 on automotive parts and accessories, with the majority planning to focus that amount on their current vehicle; nearly 9 out of 10 plan to retain their daily drivers (85.6%) for the next 12 months.

From this group, 16% cited financial troubles or concerns as their reason for keeping the vehicles. On the other hand, 84% are satisfied with their Jeeps, a quality most owners have about the brand.

Performance upgrades are the leading items on the list of products these enthusiasts claimed they would purchase next. Unlike their sports car counterparts, the performance-enhancing upgrades these owners plan to buy shift from speed and handling to strength, durability and agility. Bumpers (11%), exhaust components (9%), intake systems (8%), lift kits (6%) and limited-slip/locking differentials round out the top five products.

Jeep Willy's at SEMA Show
 

For more original SEMA market research, visit www.sema.org/research.

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