SEMA Pickup Accessorization Report Offers Comprehensive View of Truck Landscape

DIAMOND BAR, CA (12.02.22) – Americans (and indeed car buyers throughout the world) love pickup trucks. What’s more, they love accessorizing them—so much so that 49% of all late-model pickups are modified with specialty-equipment parts.

That’s just one of the key findings of the new “2022 SEMA Pickup Accessorization Report.” Compiled by SEMA Market Research, the report offers a comprehensive look at the evolving pickup landscape along with sales forecasts and other data relating to the parts that accessorizers buy and how they buy them. Packed with plenty of useful statistics and analysis, the 158-page report is available to download for free at www.sema.org/research.

“The pickup truck market is the largest segment of the specialty-automotive aftermarket and a key opportunity for businesses,” said SEMA Director of Market Research Gavin Knapp. “This report helps SEMA members understand where the opportunities are and how to best connect with pickup accessorizers.”

According to Knapp, the report focuses specifically on late-model and newer mid-size and fullsize pickups found on the road today. It takes a deep dive into the consumer market (as opposed to fleets) in which pickups are personally owned, but also frequently used for work purposes. Its key findings include the following interesting facts:

Pickup owners spent $16 billion on specialty parts in 2021.
There are more than 29 million late-model (’10 and newer) pickups on the road, and about half of them are modified.
62% of late-model pickup accessorizers buy off-road-focused parts for their trucks.
84% of late-model accessorizers plan to make additional modifications in the near future.
45% of specialty-equipment businesses view battery-electric pickups as an opportunity.

By far, pickups comprise the largest single specialty-equipment segment in terms of sales. Consumers spent $16 billion on aftermarket parts for pickups in 2021, representing 31% of the industry’s sales.

The Pickup Landscape

“There are more than 280 million passenger vehicles on U.S. roads today, and the majority of those are considered light trucks,” observed Knapp. “There’s often some confusion, though, because people use the terms ‘pickup’ and ‘truck’ interchangeably. Keep in mind that the light truck category includes pickups, sport utility vehicles [SUVs], crossover utility vehicles [CUVs] and vans. This report centers on pickups. While light trucks outsell cars three to one, pickups represent about every fifth vehicle on the road right now.”

Still, he noted, pickups have outperformed many other vehicle types in terms of new sales over the past several years, despite the recent economic hardships, chip shortages and supply-chain issues. “Pickup demand has remained strong, and they’re pretty high-value vehicles for OEMs, which makes them a potential priority in their production cases,” he said.

The majority of pickup owners use their trucks for daily tasks, short road trips, light utility and outdoor recreation. But because pickups fulfill a wide range of roles, they often require specialized accessories or modifications.

In fact, while OEMs are now shifting away from traditional passenger vehicles in favor of CUVs, the pickup category is remaining stable, and will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future.

“Traditionally, pickups have been a small, contained collection of models, allowing something like the Ford F-150 to become the top-selling vehicle in the United States. And if we think about the hottest pickups for our industry, the big, fullsize models are at the top, plus the Toyota Tacoma,” continued Knapp. “But one difference we are seeing now is a reemergence of some midsize and smaller pickup brands and models as people look for cheaper options and better gas mileage.”

Regardless of their size, accessorizing pickups of all types remains a lucrative area of opportunity for the aftermarket. According to SEMA Market Research, specialty equipment sales for passenger vehicles topped $50 billion last year, and the largest individual slice of those sales—$16 billion worth—were in the pickup category.

“Pickups really are a booming market for our industry,” said Knapp. “Looking at our manufacturers and retailers, many companies are selling into the pickup market and have been doing really well. They’ve continued to see increased sales largely over the last 12 months.”

Super-duty pickups are more likely to be modified for specialized purposes, but all makes and models receive a good share of aftermarket upgrades.

Profiling the Pickup Owner

Of course, to truly leverage this $16 billion market, industry businesses must understand pickups owners, how they use their trucks, and ultimately their motivations for vehicle modifications. In that regard, the report arms manufacturers and retailers alike with a wealth of data.

“Nearly all trucks are used as daily drivers, and most people consider their pickup a utility vehicle,” said Knapp. “But a large percentage also utilize their pickups for travel, which can mean pulling a trailer, adding a camper, or equipping it with gear to get off road. It’s when we get into some of those specifics that we really see the opportunities for our industry. If you look at the people who think of their truck as an outdoor recreation vehicle, as a work vehicle, or as an off-road vehicle, their specialized needs become the driving forces for all of their accessory and modification decisions.”

The report finds that more than 90% of late-model pickup owners use their vehicles for travel or road trips, whether they be to access recreation areas, multi-day drives into the wilderness for camping, an overland trip, or an off-roading excursion. In addition, a good portion of their trips include sleeping in the truck, a bed-mounted camper or a trailer towed behind. “For many, the pickup is like their home away from home, and modifications for pulling a trailer or hauling gear is one of their more common needs,” said Knapp.

Most commonly, owners modify their pickups for improved utility and looks, but performance enhancements also enter the mix. Modifications are typically made soon after vehicle purchase, although some owners continue modifying as long-term projects or as new needs arise.

But if anything defines a pickup, it’s versatility—for work as well as play. In fact, SEMA Market Research also finds that about 28% of pickup owners see their trucks as true work vehicles and modify them accordingly.

“There are so many general-utility uses that encompass the entire pickup market, and a lot of overlap between work around the house and work at a job site,” explained Knapp. “However, when it comes to a true work truck, there tends to be more interest in the comfort aspects of riding to and from a job, the ability to tow and haul work gear, and having the necessary storage for it. We see a lot of specialization, especially when it comes to things like a toolbox in the vehicle.”

Still, not every pickup owner feels compelled to modify a truck. The market is actually split between those who keep their trucks stock (51%) and those who accessorize (49%). Among those who do accessorize, the report finds that “non-enthusiast” consumers comprise 57% of the market. True “enthusiast” consumers—those primarily motivated by the enjoyment of working on a vehicle, maximizing performance and handling, or making their vehicle stand out—represent 43% of the marketplace.

Overall, pickup owners tend toward practical modifications for trailering and hauling (38%), easier entry and exit (27%), added storage (24%), or light off-road use (23%). In addition, owners of heavy-duty pickups are especially likely to enhance their vehicles for towing and hauling (47%). Meanwhile, a healthy percentage of pickup owners of all types opt to improve their vehicle’s appearance (35%).

Top specialty-equipment product categories for 2021 reflect all these goals. Popular purchases include off-road and oversize tires; suspension products; bedliners and accessories; transmission products; bed covers; fender, hood and body upgrades; brake products; trailer and towing products; and performance or special-purpose tires.

Off-Roading and Adventuring

Not surprisingly, equipping trucks for off-roading and overlanding pursuits continue to offer prime opportunities for the aftermarket as well. “More than half of people who own pickups—regardless of whether they lightly modify their vehicle or have a purpose-built off-road truck—get onto dirt roads or gravel paths a few times a year, if not on a regular basis,” said Knapp. “In terms of really hitting the trails, going mudding and dealing with steep inclines, we also see a good share of the overall pickup market doing those things as well as other hardcore activities like bouldering and rock crawling.”

Helping these owners achieve their goals (or simply look the part) will go a long way toward gaining loyal customers. This is an audience known for return business—the vast majority of pickup accessorizers who have already done work on their trucks say they plan to do more.

Also reflecting the diverse nature of the pickup lifestyle, aftermarket businesses will find many avenues for engaging truck owners. “It’s not just online, just on social media, or even just in-store,” said Knapp. “With pickup owners we see a lot of word of mouth, YouTube and social-media engagement. Instagram is important too, but you don’t want to neglect building up your own website and training your own staff. Especially with people seeking complicated modifications, if you can guide them through the process, you’ll see a lot of success.”

In short, pickup owners are willing to invest in quality parts that get the job done. As a whole, they’re also brand-loyal, with reliability being front of mind.

“They spend a good amount of money on their vehicles, upgrading and accessorizing them,” observed Knapp. “Trucks are supposed to be tough, and they’ll prioritize tough parts and accessories over the lowest price.”

Domestic fullsize units dominate the pickup landscape in terms of vehicle and aftermarket parts sales, and thus top the SEMA list of hot pickups for accessorization. Still, there are a range of platforms offering opportunities for the industry.

As for the foreseeable future, the pickup market offers a sense of continuity in a changing automotive landscape. The SEMA Market Research report sees growing opportunity in the midsize market, and although smaller pickups currently lag in accessorization, that’s likely due to their market absence of late. As consumers embrace the emerging “compact” models, modifications are bound to follow. Likewise the new rugged models like the Jeep Gladiator, which is also predicted to be a strong platform for the aftermarket.

“The great thing about the pickup market is there aren’t any of them that can’t be modified and accessorized,” Knapp reiterated. “Going forward, we also looked at the electric-vehicle [EV] market. It’s everywhere right now, and our expectation is we’ll see more and more EV pickups hitting the road, along with some increases in hybrid models. But gasoline power will remain the standard for quite some time.”

If anything, the new EV platforms are introducing novelty to the market—along with a new demographic of customers who would not normally consider themselves “truck people.”

“They are early adopter types,” explained Knapp. “But as time goes on and more EV pickups are sold and EVs become more mainstream, so will these consumers.”

Not surprisingly, while accessorizers buy parts for both simple and complex jobs through a variety of channels, particularly difficult or costly mods are more likely to be bought in-store.

After all, added Knapp, “It’s a truck. It’s got four wheels. It’s got suspension. It’s got exterior body panels. It’s got a truck bed. All of those things can be modified and accessorized in the same way that a traditional pickup can.”

In other words, the American love affair with pickups will remain undiminished for a long time to come. And that is bound to spark continued innovation and growth for the specialty-equipment industry too.

Get All the Details

To learn more about the pickup market, pickup owners and the parts they love and buy, download the “2022 SEMA Pickup Accessorization Report” today at www.sema.org/research.

The report is also the subject of a SEMA on-demand webinar video titled “Understanding the Pickup Accessorization Market,” which is now available through SEMA Education at https://learning.sema.org/on-demand-video.

SEMA: Industry Market Trends, Sector by Sector

DIAMOND BAR, CA (12.01.22) – The automotive industry—and consequently the aftermarket—has entered a period of unprecedented change. Emerging technologies, new ways of doing business, and market, social and governmental forces are creating a barrage of opportunities and challenges for our industry. As a trade organization, SEMA is committed to helping members navigate industry trends so they can future-proof their businesses, succeed and prosper.

SEMA councils and networks play a vital role in this mission. They offer members a variety of niche-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular market segment. They also serve as “think tanks” to help identify segment needs and priorities.

For this two-part series, SEMA News queried the leaders of each SEMA council and network for a SWOT analysis of their industry segments. What follows are insights into the restoration, restyling, and wheel and tire segments, as well as trends relating to career development and opportunities for women. In our January 2023 issue, we will hear from the other segments served by association councils and networks. The statements below are edited for clarity and conciseness.

Automotive Restoration Market Trends

Reported by Joanna Agosta-Shere, Chair Elect, SEMA Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO):

Continued growth of the restomod market is a positive trend in our industry, as more people want the traditional look of a vehicle with modern conveniences. This isn’t necessarily a new trend but continues to be popular. I think there is a growing interest in ’80s and ’90s Asian vehicles as well. This is what my generation drove in high school, and that nostalgia is driving the trend.

There are, however, two challenges that I see currently facing our industry segment. The main one, supply-chain disruption, is very universal and still impacting all of our businesses. For the most part, as a manufacturer, we’ve been very fortunate to have suppliers that can regularly provide our raw material but with longer lead times and regularly increased prices. Some of the more niche components in those parts have been more challenging to source, however, and those are needed for the final product.

Secondly, I’ve heard over and over from our members that finding people who have the skills to restore vehicles has exceedingly become difficult. There are not enough people who are trained to do transmission or wiring work for classics. As if the current employment market isn’t challenging enough, the lack of available people with these skill sets makes it tougher for restoration shops and customers to find help.

Looking at long-term opportunities, there’s no denying that electric vehicles (EVs) are in our future. As a segment, we have to figure out how we fit in with this emerging technology. The great thing about the restoration market is that because we’re in a segment that deals with vehicles from the past, we have a long-range crystal ball to prepare for the future.

Vehicles with battery-electric motors will still need tires and wheels. They will still need classic-looking instrument panels. And they will still need interiors. In fact, making these vehicles more environmentally friendly or easier to drive and maintain may create a customer base who didn’t grow up in their dad’s garage tooling around but do appreciate having a fun vehicle to drive around.

ARMO is helping to address these issues in a couple of ways. First, we want to be a forum to help your company get their new products in front of buyers’ eyes. ARMO has been hosting the Hot Product Showcase at Spring Carlisle—one of the largest consumer restoration shows—for many years. As an ARMO member, you’re able to submit products for display at the event for free. Contact our council liason Marcy Yanus at marcyy@sema.org to submit your product.

Secondly, ARMO hosts quarterly membership meetings and panel discussions. In those discussions, topics are brought to us by members so that we can address business needs that they are facing. Past topics have included “General Industry Trends,” “How to Utilize the SEMA Washington Office for Legislative Issues,” and “OE Licensing Education.”

ARMO specifically wants to help our member companies succeed in business. We support networking, education and youth engagement. If you have an interest in learning more about ARMO, please join one of our Virtual Quarterly Panel Discussions or contact us at marcyy@sema.org. We also invite those interested to join us for our annual ARMO Receptions at the SEMA Show. We always love extending the opportunity for you to learn more and speak to other member companies about the value of their ARMO membership.

Career and Leadership-Development Trends

Reported by Nick Caloroso, Chair, SEMA Future Leaders Network (FLN):

The rapid landscape shift from internal combustion engines (ICE) to EVs has become a catalyst for new ideas and innovation in the automotive aftermarket industry. New business owners, entrepreneurs, engineers, and EV enthusiasts are joining the industry just as quickly.

As a result, SEMA’s Future Leaders Network (FLN), formerly the Young Executives Network (YEN), has shifted efforts to focus on the creation of new opportunities for professional development and career growth. The Dale Carnegie-backed, Professional Development Program (PDP) is the first program of its kind aimed toward welcoming these new leaders into the industry. Members who attend the program are given an opportunity to network with peers and establish deep connections that create value and support.

SEMA has absorbed a large portion of the cost to make this program accessible to businesses of any size. If you are new to the automotive aftermarket industry and looking for opportunities to learn and grow, visit http://www.sema.org/fln to learn more.

Restyling Industry Trends

Reported by Josh Poulson, Chair, SEMA Professional Restylers Organization (PRO):

Despite some challenges, our restylers and restyling manufacturers remain busy and profitable. Many of the shops around the country have been pivoting to do more retail business instead of the traditional wholesale dealer business. Ideally, most shops we hear from would like to be closer to a 50/50 margin mix of wholesale and retail.

In addition, the film market (window tint, paint-protection and wrap films) continues to grow at a rapid pace. This growth will continue over the next five years, and many core products will remain popular. These include leather interiors, sunroofs, heated seats and truck accessories. As dealership inventories improve, most shops that have built dealer relationships will get busier. That should provide a needed boost to the industry.

One challenge is that many restylers have relied on business from car dealerships, and that has been hurt by the lack of vehicle production and availability. This will continue to be an issue well into 2023, according to many experts.

A longer-term challenge is how OEMs will sell their vehicles. The dealership model isn’t going away; however, the process for selling new vehicles has been interrupted and will continue to evolve. There probably won’t be as many cars on a dealer’s lot, and the OEMs would love to push the “build to order” model if Americans prove willing to wait for their vehicles. If this happens, the Restyling industry will need to evolve with the trend and make sure our products are still presented to consumers at the time of sale.

Our PRO council continues to host our annual PRO Cup Challenge at the SEMA Show each year. This year, we had seven restyling shops from around the country building realistic packages on everyday vehicles found on the road. PRO manufacturers had the opportunity to see how their products can be packaged together with others to create a distinct package that can be easily replicated in any restyler’s local market. Many restylers were in attendance to take these ideas back to their own markets.

Outside of the Show, we are also scheduling our ongoing regional sales/installer training sessions that allow shops to send their sales and/or technicians for training from manufacturer instructors in multiple categories. We will continue to announce these dates and locations starting early 2023.

On the emerging technology front, we at PRO don’t really fear the growth of EVs. In fact, we embrace them! Whether a customer has an EV or an ICE vehicle, they want it to stand out and look different from others on the road. We restyle many EVs currently, and as more and more products come out for these vehicles, PRO will be at the forefront of working with car dealers to offer these products.

One of the biggest things we at PRO pride ourselves on is the fact that everything we discuss and do is aimed at making money for our members. Most of our engaged members are owners and executives who want to grow business and be more profitable. We welcome new members from throughout the category.

Industry Businesswomen’s Trends

Reported by Cathy Clark, Chair, SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN):

More and more women are joining our industry, and with that comes an increase in women in leadership within the industry. The SEMA Board of Directors, for example, currently has four female members. This increase in women also means there are many opportunities for involvement.

Our All Female Bronco Build has introduced a number of women, both within and outside our industry, to the opportunities that await them. We also plan to have an educational series in 2023 that will help men learn to become allies for industry women. The more we do to make women feel comfortable and welcome in the automotive aftermarket, the more women that will join us. Diversity brings new ideas and change and can only lift our industry to new levels.

The biggest issue that I’ve seen for industry women is that some believe they lack the technical knowledge required to make an impact or answer technical questions accurately. We’ve seen it time and time again at trade events where a man will bypass a woman to address a technical question to another man. In a number of instances, the man answering then directs the person right back to the woman because she is the expert on that subject. If we can help bring more awareness to the industry and its members that women are just as knowledgeable about the automotive aftermarket as men, we can help eliminate instances like this.

I think we see more opportunities than challenges for industry women in the next five to 10 years. With the cost of a college education rising, more and more people are looking to trade schools to get their education for a future career. SEMA needs to be out in the high school championing automotive schools as a viable and profitable option to youth. More women than men are attending traditional universities at this time, and I feel that we should challenge ourselves to make sure that more women than men are enrolling in technical colleges as well.

The biggest way that we are helping women in our industry is by providing them networking, educational, and recognition opportunities. Our All Female Bronco Build has had more than 300 women want to volunteer (and counting) so far. We prioritized women-owned and/or -led manufacturers for the products that we put on the vehicle. We also had our first Women’s Leadership Forum in March of 2022 and will have it again in March of 2023. It’s an opportunity for women to get together to collaborate on issues that they have faced in their careers and learn from each other and professional speakers.

SBN is not exclusively women only. We are open to male members and leadership. We are looking to increase the number of women in our industry and make it the best possible experience for them. My dream would be that the SBN one day becomes unnecessary. That would mean that women are treated and recognized as equals in the industry. We are on our way, but still have a long road ahead of us.

We are here to serve industry women. We want to provide services, activities and opportunities that they feel are needed. We are very approachable and always love hearing new ideas. You can easily volunteer on any of our task forces and committees, and it doesn’t require a ton of commitment (usually just one phone call per month). Get involved. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

Wheel and Tire Industry Trends

Reported by Mike Lusso,  Chair-Elect, SEMA Wheel and Tire Council (WTC):

Based on input from WTC members, we see many positive wheel and tire trends going into 2023. In general, supply-chain issues seem to finally be resolving. Losses for 2022 have seemed to stabilize, and our RTO customers are increasing. Also, there has been development in electric vehicle (EV) technology across all major brands, along with the tires and wheels that support those vehicles. The development of non-pneumatic tires continues as well.

Additionally, there is a continued influx of low-cost advertising opportunities within new social channels. With opportunities such as TikTok and a growing app presence in the automotive industry, the decreased performance of Facebook and Google can now be translated to new channels where new consumers exist. A wider network equals more first-time
conversions.

Meanwhile, as EVs continue to be adopted by both enthusiasts and standard users, the mentality of modification is finding its way to a wider range of enthusiasts. I typically categorize Tesla enthusiasts as “tech enthusiasts,” not “car enthusiasts.” However, it doesn’t matter what label they carry, as they are both modifying their vehicles the way they feel best.

In the area of business challenges, EV and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) technologies are driven by market consumption, and shop owners need education to support the vehicles they see in the shop. Wheels and tires are the first things to hit the road, so we need good education around the effects they bring to the vehicle. There will also be new challenges in wheel and tire manufacturing, pricing, training and staffing. In fact, training and retention of front-line personnel is still a major opportunity.

There may also be hesitation to embrace and spend on emerging technologies due to cost. But those who do so now will be ahead of the curve when the economics rebound. They will be stronger for it. The more companies hold back, the more it hurts other companies. We need to push forward.

With supply-chain issues somewhat easing, we are also seeing overseas brands that had issues fulfilling demand during the pandemic starting to flood the market. However, for industry businesses, challenges remain. For instance, parts for testing machinery are up to 200 days out in some cases, and materials testing delays can be up to five months.

Plus, with inflation consumers are starting to stretch their dollars. We are seeing an “emptying out” of demand in the Tier-2 space with more consumers seeking Tier-3 supply. As always, the rich remain rich, and Tier-1 brands seem to be holding their own fairly well in comparison to other tiers. However, for truck buyers, being an enthusiast is going from “really expensive” to “too expensive.” The results are individuals leaving the segment for a more affordable “non-lifted” segment.

Some other developments to watch relate to lighter wheels, higher-torque vehicles, newer EV winter tires, rolling resistances and regulation. The latter includes California’s explorations of rolling-resistance and wet-grip minimum mandates, which may disproportionately impact the specialty tire market. Federal agencies tend to adopt such policies nationwide.

Our biggest need is industry education and advocacy on emerging technologies and the market. Many don’t understand the issues—or are clouded by personal opinions about EVs, grid infrastructure, economics and the effects of inflation. We have used our connections with larger organizations to advise government about their impacts using data and insights provided by SEMA. We are lobbying for exemptions that will benefit the entire wheel and tire aftermarket.

Additionally, we have several education initiatives for 2023 that will educate SEMA members on changes to vehicles and how they affect wheels and tires. Our programs will include topics like rolling resistance, tread wear and traction, and how EVs are affected. The WTC Education Committee goes to great lengths to inform are members and to keep businesses on top of these and other topics. We invite businesses in our segment to contribute their feedback and keep us informed of their needs.

SEMA Editor’s Note: The viewpoints expressed in this article are those of our council and network sources and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of SEMA or its Board of Directors.

This article was written by Mike Imlay for sema.org

Introduction to the Three Cs of Social Media: Content, Calendar and Channels, Presented by ARMO

DIAMOND BAR, CA (11.18.22) – Social media is a great tool for reaching targeted audiences and promoting a brand. Unlike other communication channels, social media has a sense of authenticity and transparency to it, and it can help to build stronger connections between customers and companies. 

While simply having a social media account is not enough, it does not have to be time intensive to be successful. Automotive aftermarket shops, businesses, and builders can utilize the Three C’s to streamline their social media efforts. By focusing on content, creating a calendar and understanding the different channels, brands can build a strong social media presence.   

Learn how to launch or improve your business’s social media strategy to success by using the Three Cs of social media (Calendar, Content and Channels) during this live webinar.

You’ll connect with and hear from two social media experts: 

  • – Barry Alt, founder of Motorhead Digital and a digital marketing expert focused on the restoration, performance, race, and restyling segment of the automotive aftermarket, and 
  • – Dan Kahn, founder of Kahn Media and a published author and photographer with over a decade of experience in print and digital publishing, public relations and marketing.   

In just one hour, you will learn: 

  1. The importance of building a social media calendar, how to do it, and software that might help  
  2. How to plan out content, where to find ideas when you get stuck, and how to create content that builds engagement to your audience and not just pushes information  
  3. How to determine what social media channels will work for your business, and the pros and cons of each channel          

The webinar is presented by the ARMO Council, who will also share a short update on the council’s initiatives. Elevate your social media by registering today!

SEMA: Newly Released Data Shows Outdoor Recreation Is a Booming Industry

DIAMOND BAR, CA (11.15.22) – New data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that in 2021 outdoor recreation generated $862 billion in economic output and 4.5 million jobs. This equates to 1.9% of GDP in the U.S. economy and highlights the record-setting growth that the outdoor recreation industry has seen over the past few years.

“From the creation of jobs and increased profit for small businesses in local economies, to larger boons to our national economy, this sector is a consistent driver, even in times of economic uncertainty. The strength of the outdoor recreation economy reflects what many in the industry have long known to be true: there are infinite benefits that come from more people spending time outdoors, and they’ll only grow with continued investment” said Jessica Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), of which SEMA is a member.

ORR is America’s leading coalition of U.S. outdoor recreation trade associations. It represents more than 50,000 businesses that produce vehicles, apparel, equipment and services enjoyed in our nation’s parks, waterways, trails and outdoor spaces. SEMA’s focus within ORR is on motorized recreation (four-wheel, ATVs, UTVs, etc.), along with all the equipment that makes it possible to tow RVs, trailers, boats and off-road vehicles (suspension, wheels, tires, increased horsepower, etc.).

Click here to view the ORR press release on the BEA data.

For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at carolinef@sema.org.

Key Findings From the SEMA State of the Industry Fall 2022 Report

DIAMOND BAR, CA (11.15.22) – The automotive specialty-equipment industry’s record-high sales growth over the past two years is beginning to level off or subside, according to the newest SEMA market research report. Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, supply-chain issues and rising costs, companies continue to be optimistic as sales remain solid and above pre-pandemic levels.

Filled with 60 pages of data, the “SEMA State of the Industry – Fall 2022” report is the latest study to explore how businesses are doing post-pandemic. Members can use the report to gain valuable insight into key industry trends and metrics, challenges and opportunities, and an outlook for 2023 and beyond.   

By downloading the report, members will gain access SEMA’s research designed to help them plan and succeed in the year ahead.  

Key findings include:  

  • 47% of manufacturers, 48% of distributors and 44% of retailers expect sales to increase in the coming year.
  • Supply-chain issues continue to be disruptive for the industry. More than 90% of companies say that they are having a moderate or significant impact on operations.
  • Inflation and the supply-chain issues are resulting in higher costs for businesses. More than 90% of companies reported an increase in supplier or production costs; most (around 80%) are compensating for the high costs by increasing their prices. Despite this, consumer demand and revenue remain strong.
  • Ongoing supply-chain issues and high prices are slowing new vehicle sales. Sales are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 or 2025. Sales for 2022 are expected to fall about a million vehicles short of 2021, at 13.9 million total units. The average price of a new vehicle reached $48,301 in August 2022, a record high. The average price of an electric is even higher, at over $66,000.  

Download your free report.  

SEMA Cares Recognizes WD-40 Co. for Its Support

DIAMOND BAR, CA (11.11.22) – SEMA Chairman of the Board James Lawrence presented WD-40 with the Chairman’s Service Award during the SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.

WD-40 Sales Manager Shannon Edwards accepted the Chairman’s Service Award on behalf of the company.

Bestowed at the discretion of the SEMA chairman, the award is unique and not given out every year. Lawrence presented the award to WD-40 for the company’s ongoing support of SEMA Cares. WD-40 has built several noteworthy vehicles that have raised more than $2 million for children and people in need: a bright-yellow 50th Anniversary ’67 Camaro, a Foose-designed ’12 Dodge Challenger, a ’53 Ford F-100, a ’14 F-150, a two-toned ’10 Camaro and a custom ’11 Mustang.

WD-40 Sales Manager Shannon Edwards accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Visit www.sema.org/sema-cares for more information.

SEMA Automotive Influencer of the Year Granted to Larry Chen

DIAMOND BAR, CA (11.08.22) – Content creator and world-renowned automotive photographer Larry Chen was named winner of the first annual SEMA Automotive Influencer of the Year award. The award was created to honor a content creator or influencer who has built an engaged audience and used his or her platform to positively impact car enthusiasts of all ages.

The award is a result of the rise of content creators’ and social media influencers’ impact on the industry. Finalists for the award were selected based on their presence and influence across social media channels, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and more. This year’s finalists, which included Larry Chen, ChrisFix, TJ Hunt, Adam LZ and Alex Taylor, were recognized at the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet for their impact on growing the $50.9 billion automotive specialty-equipment industry.

Content creator Larry Chen was named winner of the first annual SEMA Automotive Influencer of the Year award for his positive impact on the automotive industry.

“It is a huge honor to be nominated for this award, especially being alongside my peers. I am a content creator through and through, and I love telling the stories of backyard and garage builds along with the grandest collections,” said Larry Chen. “I enjoy that my audience follows along and appreciates the content I create. For me, this is about doing my best and playing my part in saving the culture that we love so much.”

Chen’s work has graced the covers of numerous magazines, and he is well known for his work with Hoonigan, Hagerty, and other top automotive media companies. He also shoots for major OEMs, top builders, multiple race and event series, and top automotive brands around the world. Chen is also a Canon Explorer of Light, teaches photography classes, and shares his knowledge and passion with aspiring content creators. As an enthusiast himself, Chen hosts car meets, has collaborated on vehicle builds, and has shown his own creations at the SEMA Show.

“Larry embodies what it means to be an ambassador for the automotive industry and car culture. He is a true enthusiast, and his contagious passion for the subject matter has not only been embraced by the car community but also continues to bring new people into our hobby,” said SEMA Chairman James Lawrence. “On behalf of SEMA and the aftermarket industry, I want to thank Larry for his ongoing contribution and can think of no better person to recognize as our first winner.”

Chen’s work can be seen on his website, Instagram page, Facebook, and other social media channels.

Announcing SEMA Week: An Exciting Evolution of SEMA Show in Las Vegas to Kick Off 2023

DIAMOND BAR, CA (11.07.22) – SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) announces a five-year vision to expand the SEMA Show into an “all-city” experience. Officially called SEMA Week, the expansion’s goal is to create the most passionate and exciting automotive event in the world. SEMA Week will kick off in 2023 with new concepts, activities, and events introduced over the five-year roll-out period.

SEMA Week will be headlined by the SEMA Show, which will remain a trade-only event Monday through Friday. On Friday, the final day of the SEMA Show, a limited number of enthusiasts will be able to attend the SEMA Show through the Friday Experience program, which launched at the 2021 SEMA Show. Beginning on Friday evening of SEMA Week, SEMA will take over the Las Vegas Festival Grounds through Saturday night with an all-new SEMA Fest.

“We have been watching the connection between enthusiasts and our industry grow for more than a decade and, as the industry’s trade association, have a responsibility to help facilitate that connection in new and meaningful ways,” said James Lawrence, SEMA Chairman of the Board. “By creating SEMA Week and SEMA Fest, we will be able to maintain the integrity of the trade show that makes it a must-attend event for automotive professionals while introducing a new platform for enthusiasts and the industry to engage with one another.”

For 2023, SEMA Fest will take place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds and be open to everyone, bringing together automotive enthusiasts with the aftermarket industry in a high-octane and immersive festival-like celebration of car culture. SEMA Fest will feature top music and entertainment, car show and cruise, VIP experiences, craft food, automotive celebrities, and motorsports. It will run alongside the popular SEMA Ignited Cruise and SEMA Show after-party, which draws thousands of enthusiasts on Friday night.

SEMA Week is also scheduled to include a SEMA Auction, featuring some of the best builds from SEMA and many more amazing vehicles to headline the festivities. SEMA will continue to expand and refine SEMA Week over the next five years, rolling out new events and activities throughout the city of Las Vegas. The evolution of SEMA Week preserves the trade aspects of the industry and business components of the SEMA Show, while enabling enthusiasts from all over to join in the festivities and enjoy car culture-focused events throughout the SEMA Week experience.

Additional details for the 2023 SEMA Show, SEMA Week, and SEMA Fest will be announced in the coming months.

Visit sema.org for more.

Metra Electronics Introduces New Speaker Adapter Plates at SEMA

HOLLY HILL, FL (10.19.22)Metra Electronics is introducing new speaker adapter plates at the 2022 SEMA Show, November 1st-4th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. These new products expand on the manufacturer’s line of audio system solutions and make it easy to install aftermarket speakers in an assortment of vehicles.

These adapter plates are sold as a pair in most cases and have innovative features such as breakaway tab designs and mounting that mirrors the factory location so that no drilling is required. New adapters launching at the SEMA Show include:

  • Dash-Mount Tweeter Plate – Fits Ford Bronco 2021-Up*
  • Rear Speaker Adapter Plate – Fits Toyota 4Runner 1996-2002
  • Premium Audio System Speaker Adapter Plate – Fits Tesla Model 3 2017-Up* and Model Y 2020-Up*, Porsche 2012-2020*, BMW 2003-2022*, and Range Rover 2013-2021*
  • Standard or Premium Audio System Speaker Adapter Plate – Fits Tesla Model X 2015-2021 and Model S 2012-2022
  • Standard or Premium Audio System Tweeter Adapter Plate – Fits Tesla Model X 2015-2021 and Model S 2012-2021
  • Premium Audio System Subwoofer Enclosure Adapter Plate – Fits Tesla Model 3 2017-Up* and Model Y 2020-Up*
  • Door Speaker Adapter Plate – Fits Mercedes 2014-2020*
  • Standard Audio System Speaker Adapter Plate – Fits Porsche Boxster 2013-2016, Panamera 2010-2016, Cayman 2013-2015, and 911 2012-2014
  • Kick Panel Speaker Adapter Plate – Fits Ford Bronco 2021-Up*

*Visit MetraOnline.com for up-to-date vehicle-specific applications.

These products will be on display at Metra’s main SEMA Show booth #11139 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, along with many other new products. They will also be available to view online at MetraOnline.com shortly after the SEMA Show.

SEMA Research: Automotive Specialty-Equipment Businesses Remain Optimistic Despite Supply Chain Issues, Production Shortages

DIAMOND BAR, CA (10.18.22) – The record-high sales growth over the past two years for the automotive specialty-equipment industry is beginning to level off or subside, according to the newest SEMA market research report. Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, supply-chain issues, and rising costs, companies remain optimistic as sales remain solid and above pre-pandemic levels.

“Businesses experienced record-high growth the past two years,” said Gavin Knapp, SEMA director of market research. “We saw growth that was above the industry’s norm, so it makes sense that we’re returning to more normal levels. It’s great to see that most companies are up from 2019 levels.”

Conducted every six months since 2021, the “SEMA State of the Industry” studies are designed to give companies clarity about the overall market during an uncertain time. The disruption from the pandemic made it difficult for members to understand what the market was going through and nearly impossible to forecast. Based on data from the automotive specialty-equipment industry, the reports give readers a barometer to gauge how they are currently doing and make predictions about what’s to come.

The newest Fall 2022 version finds that 47% of manufacturers, 48% of distributors, and 44% of retailers expect sales to increase in the coming year. Additional findings include:

  • Supply-chain issues continue to be disruptive for the industry. Over 90% of companies say that they are having a moderate or significant impact on operations.
  • Inflation and the supply-chain issues are resulting in higher costs for businesses. More than 90% of companies reported an increase in supplier or production costs; most (around 80%) are compensating for the high costs by increasing their prices. Despite this, consumer demand and revenue remain strong.
  • Ongoing supply-chain issues and high prices are slowing new vehicle sales. Sales are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 or 2025. Sales for 2022 are expected to fall about a million vehicles short of 2021, at 13.9 million total units. The average price of a new vehicle reached $48,301 in August 2022, a record high. The average price of an electric is even higher, at over $66,000.

The complete “State of the Industry—Fall 2022” report is available to download for free at www.sema.org/research, and it will be discussed in depth during the SEMA Show seminar “State of the Specialty-Equipment Industry: Trends and Directions,” on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 11:00 a.m. in Room N254.