DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 2, 2003) — Retail sales of accessories and other products for the compact vehicle market grew 55.9 percent in 2002 on sales of $2.4 billion, the Specialty Equipment Market Association said.
In 1997—when Diamond Bar-based SEMA started tracking the segment's sales—the market niche had sales of only $295 million. In the years since, the segment grew 48.5 percent, 72.6 percent, 58.7 percent and 26.5 percent in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, respectively. The niche includes cars and trucks with three major types of small-car modification: exterior or appearance, engine and interior.
“This market is fueled by the growing affection which younger drivers have for their vehicles,” said Jim Spoonhower, SEMA's vice president of research. “They can tune and tweak them, enhance their appearance, add mobile electronics systems and personalize them to suit their lifestyle and sense of fashion.”
According to SEMA, 62.7 percent of compact performance vehicle owners bought their vehicle used, and 24.7 percent bought them new. Another 12.6 percent received the vehicles as gifts.