|Many SEMA members found new customers during 2008. For example, 58% of
compact-performance companies were able to increase the number of new
customers during the year.
New customers and orders from existing customers increased in 2008, according to a recent survey of SEMA members. When asked whether companies witnessed new customer growth and increased business last year, 58% of compact-performance companies, for example, experienced a surge of customers in 2008, while 36% of those in the restoration market noted an increase in business from existing customers
Although our current economic climate has definitely had an impact on SEMA members’ businesses, it turns out that, depending on market niche, the severity of impact varied. While 88% of companies within the restyling market agree that the current economy had a negative impact on 2008 sales, 74% of compact-performance companies say the same.
That may come with little surprise, but other factors, such as new-vehicle sales, varied more significantly. Only 28% of sport-compact companies noted that the 2008 new-vehicle-sales decline negatively impacted sales; 72% of companies serving the light-truck market and 61% of those serving the restyling market noted the same negative impact. The table above also shows how companies within the various niches were impacted by gas prices, competition and new customer growth in 2008—benchmarking different market niches against the industry as a whole.
The data in the table above came from a survey administered to SEMA members in April that returned a total of 528 responses. The biggest percent of respondents were manufacturers (37%), followed by retailers (11%), installer/restylers and truck accessory retailers (6% each).