The styling equipment, interior comfort and performance innovations in the hot-rod market are becoming more diverse and getting broader.
Hot Rod Market
Industry stalwarts unanimously agree that the hot-rod market is as healthy as it’s ever been. The economy is stronger than it was at this time last year, and consumers have more discretionary income to spend on their toys, partially due to low fuel prices. Although hot rodding—in the most traditional sense—is predominately embraced by aging enthusiasts, the options are diverse, and getting broader.
“Last year’s Battle of the Builders competition at the SEMA Show represents how healthy the market is,” said Rick Love, Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) past chairman and executive vice president of Vintage Air. “There were excellent examples of all the different vehicle genres to pick from. Everybody in the hot-rod industry is busy; they have more work than they can do and would like to hire more qualified people.”
Legacy Stylings Meet New Technologies
The automotive aftermarket owes quite a bit to hot rodders. While, technically, the industry existed prior to the street scene of the ’50s, it was hot rodders who sparked the explosion of innovative performance and appearance products that now characterize the heart and soul of the automotive specialty-equipment market. They made tinkering with, modifying and personalizing cars cool, catapulting the industry into the $33-billion powerhouse it is today. And although the industry has since grown and broadened to encompass a dizzying array of products and trends in countless categories, hot rodding has hardly faded from the scene.
Virtually synonymous with the earliest days of the automotive specialty-equipment industry, hot rodding never seems to grow old. In fact, the market segment has remained incredibly resilient, even in the face of the recently bumpy economy.