As the automotive parts aftermarket diversifies into the digital realm, so too does the market for various tools and equipment. A “tool” nowadays could be anything from a basic impact wrench to an ultra-sophisticated digital sensor-recalibration station. In today’s shop environment, a laptop loaded with diagnostic software can be as much a tool as a welder or a clamp. As a market segment, tool and equipment manufacturers are substantial players comprising hundreds of companies. As with other sectors of the aftermarket, many of them have made changes in their workplaces in order to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resurrecting and restoring older vehicles to mint condition is a time-honored enthusiast tradition. No matter its age, a rejuvenated classic still has the power to turn heads—on the road, at a car show and wherever else it may materialize. In recent years, however, a new trend has taken hold in the restoration scene: returning a car to “better-than-new” condition through the addition of modern technologies. While exuding a spirit befitting their heritage, these “restomods” also exhibit the drivability, safety and conveniences of their present-day counterparts.
Of all the segments of the automotive aftermarket to have been impacted by 21st-century advances in original-equipment design and manufacturing technologies, few have been more dramatically affected than the collision repair and refinish industry. Lighter-weight body panels, tri-coat paint applications and advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) have all become commonplace on OE production platforms, and those advancements have posed fresh challenges to the market.
The automotive car-care and restyling segments of the specialty-equipment industry have been benefiting from opportunities ranging from color-change vinyl wraps, instant-healing paint protection film, virtually clear IR tint, ceramic coatings, detail sprays and orbital polishing technology. However, companies have had to adapt to the new environment that includes social distancing, and requires adapting marketing and communications. Challenges include trying to reach new customers and evolving to meet car dealership processes in a digital form. The following pages highlight many of the new restyling and car-care products that were showcased at the 2019 SEMA Show.
For many decades, motorcycles and ATVs dominated the powersports category. In recent years, however, UTVs have exploded onto the scene, becoming the category’s chief growth driver. Still, there is a lot of crossover in the powersports lifestyle, and enthusiasts frequently own more than one type of vehicle—not to mention a truck to haul their weekend toys.
While electric vehicles seem to be a leading industry topic of conversation, adapting older models to current vehicle technology is still driving customer demand. As well, bolt-on advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) continue to impact the market. The advent of UTVs as a major player in the market has also extended to the mobile-electronics segment. The following is a collection of products displayed in the New Products Showcase at the 2019 SEMA Show, and insights from industry experts.
As the automotive aftermarket has gradually adopted digital technologies, so too has the hot-rod aftermarket. Vintage sheetmetal nowadays may house OBD-II-spec engines and drivetrains, 3-D-printed accessories, aftermarket advanced driver-assistance systems and even Bluetooth connectivity. Whatever technologies builders leverage to craft their projects, however, a constantly evolving hot-rod aftermarket can meet their particular needs. What follows is a survey of related products from the New Products Showcase at the 2019 SEMA Show, along with some insights from a number of industry leaders.
Truck and off-road products are aftermarket staples, thanks in particular to resurgent consumer interest in pickups, SUVs and Jeeps, and now CUVs as well. Recent SEMA market research indicates that pickup product sales alone account for a 27% share of the specialty-equipment market. Add SUV product sales, and total market share increases another 13%. Moreover, 47% of pickup consumers and 45% of their SUV counterparts self-identify as true enthusiasts. Little wonder that this past November’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas witnessed the introduction of nearly 500 new truck, SUV and off-road products, not counting wheels and tires. The following pages offer another look at these products as seen in the New Products Showcase.
The performance products market—comprised of engine and drivetrain, electrical and ignition, intake and exhaust, cooling, safety and race gear—is one of the largest in the automotive aftermarket, with an estimated $10.63 billion in sales last year, according to the “2019 SEMA Market Report.” That reality was reflected last November at the 2019 SEMA Show’s New Products Showcase, where hundreds of new racing and performance-related products were on display.