By John Stewart
Showing a Healthy Uptick
The restyling market traditionally consists of interior and exterior accessories and includes products used to personalize vehicles that are not clearly assigned to other automotive specialty-equipment market niches.
According to the “2014 SEMA Annual Market Report,” almost 60% of all restyling products are accessory and appearance products—more than in any other niche. These typically include body kits—including wings, spoilers and fender flares—graphics packages; branded accessories such as shift knobs, mats and seat covers; and exterior dress-up items such as grilles and billet trim pieces. Restylers may also gravitate toward electronic upgrades such as alarms, remote-start kits or audio/visual enhancements.
Restylers also make significant use of wheels, tires and suspension products in order to personalize vehicles; these account for 22.8% of the parts associated with the segment. The remainder—about 18%—are considered performance products.
The majority of restyling parts are sold in specialty product/installation outlets (33.5%), automotive chains (17%) or through mail-order companies. This suggests that restyling parts are more likely to be purchased by a “do-it-for-me” customer rather than a hands-on racer or street-performance enthusiast.
The “2014 SEMA Annual Market Report” shows that sales in the restyling segment amounted to $4.48 billion in 2013 and showed 6.4% growth over the prior year.
A significant growth opportunity is accessorizing new vehicles still in the dealer showroom as a way to induce sales and add value. A healthy uptick in new-car sales over the last 12 months—especially truck and SUV sales—should translate into future opportunities for restylers and those who make accessories for new models. However, only 39% of new-vehicle buyers in 2013 were offered accessories by the dealer (per the “2011 Vehicle Accessory Market Study” by Foresight), and new-car dealers captured less than 5% of the $33 billion accessory market.
These and other insights are contained in the “2014 SEMA Annual Market Report,” prepared by the SEMA Market Research and available for member download free on www.sema.com/research.