DIAMOND BAR, Calif. — The automotive aftermarket proved resilient after the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, according to data gathered by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
Consumer retail spending at motor vehicle and parts dealers plunged more than 40% in April from January and February to an annualized rate of $68.5 billion — the lowest rate in decades — before bouncing back with gusto, pushing the annualized spending rate to nearly $115 billion by September, SEMA figures show.
Industrial production of auto parts and allied goods echoed the consumer spending trend, falling 39% in April before recovering all of the lost production and more just two months later. Manufacturing in this sector returned to the annualized rate by September with marginal growth, the SEMA data show.
Among the more-robust product categories tracked by SEMA was the tire/wheel category. The group's statistics show far more retailers/installers of tires/wheels reported increased sales during a 12-month period covering fall 2019 through fall 2020 than those that reported declines.