The Mitsubishi EVO was among the top three compact-performance vehicles most owned
As part of SEMA’s annual Automotive Lifestyles Study, more than 3,000 enthusiasts were surveyed on their accessorization and buying behavior, and results reveal that the Ford Mustang, Nissan 240SX and Chevrolet Corvette are the vehicles owned and accessorized most often in their respective categories.
Ford Mustangs have a mainstream appeal while the Nissan 240SX is more specific to
the compact-performance market.
Among those polled, 37% were compact-performance enthusiasts. Topping the list of vehicles driven by urban enthusiasts were Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Corvettes, Ford F-Series pickups and Honda Civics (see table above.) Other more notable "urban" vehicles, such as the Chrysler 300 and Cadillac Escalade, have more presence at urban-lifestyle-targeted car shows; actual enthusiasts sporting an "urban" look, however, often drive vehicles characteristic of a multitude of market niches.
Urban enthusiasts also have an eye for luxury (shown by the two Lexus models also making the list of most-owned vehicles).
Performance is the leading factor for compact-performance enthusiasts. The Nissan 240SX, Honda Civic and Mitsubishi EVO were at the top of the list for this category of drivers.
"For compact-performance enthusiasts, an underlining factor has always been bang-for-the-buck performance," said Zack Krelle, SEMA market research analyst. "Even though the cars are becoming more complex and upscale, the crowd keeps an eye out for affordable upgrades."
The Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro comprised the list of vehicles most owned and accessorized by the total survey sample, which consisted of hot rodders and off-roaders, musclecar enthusiasts, restoration-vehicle enthusiasts and those into light trucks, in general.
Similar products top the lists for both segments, however, urban enthusiasts favor milder
performance upgrades and aesthetics. Window tinting and alarm systems are some of the
The table above shows that both compact-performance and urban enthusiasts value both performance and appearance products. Performance parts, such as cold-air intakes and exhaust kits, were purchased by large percentages of those surveyed, however, those within the compact-performance market purchased to a greater degree.
While both products arguably provide marginal performance gains compared to more advanced engine and drivetrain upgrades, enthusiasts are attracted to the relatively low price, appearance under the hood, noticeable sound and performance improvements provided by these products. Also, appearance products (such as body kits and stereo head units, respectively) are more popular among compact-performance and urban-lifestyle enthusiasts compared to all the automotive enthusiasts surveyed.
The data gathered from SEMA’s Automotive Lifestyles Survey provides a thorough understanding of compact-performance and urban-lifestyle enthusiasts, significantly improving the chances of SEMA-member companies in getting their products into the hands of the desired consumers.
View more results of the SEMA Automotive Lifestyles Survey in the April issue of SEMA News.