DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2014) — Sales of automotive specialty-equipment products in the U.S. grew 6.7 percent last year to $33 billion, marking the fourth straight year of growth, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association's (SEMA) annual market study.
“The specialty equipment market produced the highest growth since the recent recession,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “There are a number of factors that figure into this upward trend.”
The specialty-equipment market includes products that enhance a vehicle's performance, styling, comfort, convenience and safety, SEMA said.
Among highlights of the study, according to SEMA, are:
- Street-performance products accounted for 26 percent of sales. The renewed focus on performance models by the OE manufacturers has helped drive interest in this segment. New models such as the Scion FR-S, redesigns like the 2015 Ford Mustang, and high-performance packages, such as the Dodge Hellcat Challenger, have inspired the industry and consumer alike to aim for increased performance.
- Sales of specialty equipment for light trucks grew 8 percent to post the market's best sales year since 2007. Sales of new trucks continue to climb amid anticipation for major redesigns to several flagship pickups. As the SUV/CUV sector continues to grow (nine of the top 30 sellers in the U.S.), crossover products present an opportunity to diversify and expand light-truck product offerings.
- The U.S. economy continues to show signs of industry growth, with gross domestic product rising and unemployment rates dropping. Forecasters are predicting sustained moderate growth for the U.S. economy over the next few years. Meanwhile, car buyers have shown renewed enthusiasm, pushing new-vehicle sales upward toward pre-recession levels.
The association noted that the 2014 SEMA Show, scheduled for Nov. 4-7 in Las Vegas, is expected to be the biggest yet, indicating growing industry optimism. Attendance is trending upward, and the show will host a record number of exhibitors and products, according to SEMA.
The SEMA Annual Market Report is conducted yearly to help SEMA-member companies understand the industry and make informed business decisions. SEMA research reports are available to SEMA members at no cost, and to non-members for $299. SEMA research reports can be accessed by clicking here.