SEMA eNews Vol. 18, No. 35, August 27, 2015

Suspension, Handling Products Steer Light-Truck Market’s Steady Climb

By Jason Catullo

Impacted heavily by rising fuel prices and a struggling economy, light-truck accessory sales plummeted after 2007. However, according to the latest numbers revealed in the SEMA Market Study, light-truck accessory sales have shown steady improvements in recent years, jumping 9% in 2014. In addition to the steady rebound of the market, there has also been a slight shift in the types of products purchased by the niche’s enthusiasts. A segment historically dominated by accessory and appearance sales is now showing comparable sales trends for handling products.

Light Truck
For a more in-depth look at the products, sales channels and installation trends in the light-truck accessory market, download the "2015 SEMA Market Report," which is available at no cost to SEMA members.
 
Products from the light-truck niche—which includes a combination of pickups, SUVs, CUVs and vans—have also steadily made their way to the annual SEMA Show’s New Products Showcase in increasing numbers. In 2012, about 19% of the new products in the New Products Showcase represented exhibitors in the Show’s Trucks, SUVs & Off-road section. Last year at the 2014 SEMA Show, 22% of the new products in the showcase were entered by exhibitors in that same section.

Another segment of the light-truck accessories market is the off-road niche, which consists of products specifically designed for off-road use, even if used on-road. Due to the specialized products and applications, the niche was less affected by the recession as sales remained on a steady upward trend, reaching $1.7 billion at the retail sales level in 2014, which is the highest level in more than 10 years. The products that led the segment in 2014 were wheels, tires and suspension accessories, reaching $325 million in retail sales for the year.

As for the vehicles that best represent the market, the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado remain the top-two-selling vehicles in the United States for the past several years. While the Ford F-Series continues to be the unmistakable sales leader by a significant margin, sales were down almost 2% in 2014. The Chevrolet Silverado grew more than 10% the same year, slowly closing the gap. The vehicle in the top 30 that experienced the most growth this year was the newly released ’14 Jeep Cherokee.

For a more in-depth look at the products, sales channels and installation trends in the light-truck accessory market, download the "2015 SEMA Market Report,” which is available at no cost to SEMA members.

All of SEMA's research reports are available to SEMA members at no cost, and to nonmembers at a nominal fee. SEMA research reports can be accessed at www.SEMA.org/research.

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