It may be the one segment of the automotive aftermarket that no enthusiast ever really wants to get too acquainted with, but it’s one of the most essential and one of the most universally patronized. Specifically, it’s the collision-repair sector—the companies and shops that manufacture and apply the paints, finishes and replacement bodywork that can transform a dinged-up road casualty into a like-new machine.
Technological advancements in restyling and car-care products and accessories enable this sector of the automotive aftermarket to continue to thrive. The launch of new vehicle models and the shift from smaller cars to trucks and SUVs provide additional opportunities for customization. In order to survive in this marketplace, manufacturers must be innovative and keep up with the latest trends and evolving vehicle technology.
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including radar blind-spot detection, backup cameras, driver connectivity and collision and lane-departure avoidance systems, continue to gain momentum in the $1.5 billion mobile-electronics industry. These technologies are not only being offered in new vehicles; aftermarket manufacturers have also adapted products to fit many older vehicles that are already on the road.
Their origins may lie in car culture’s distant past, but hot rodding and performance street building remain as fresh as ever in the Age of Mobility. Dozens of cutting-edge, rodding-related products are rolled out each year at the SEMA Show, and sponsored programs such as SEMA’s Battle of the Builders and Young Guns have helped to attract a new generation of builders with its own unique take on the craft of hot rodding.
Has your business felt the impact of the rapidly increasing number of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) coming into the market? If not, it’s just a matter of time, since the OEMs are racing to add a wide range of the safety-performance technologies to their latest platforms.
The truck and SUV segments continue to present one of the strongest growth markets for accessories and modifications. More than a quarter of winners and runners-up from the New Products Showcase judging at the 2018 SEMA Show were from the Truck, SUV & Off-road category, with the off-road/4x4 sub-category again seeing the second-most entries of all. In particular, the Jeep JL has sparked wide innovation with products manufactured specifically for the new model.
The Racing & Performance section of the SEMA Show encompasses carburetors, filters, exhaust systems and many other parts designed to add performance in motorsports applications and beyond. It’s the largest section of the annual trade show, with more than 500 companies exhibiting their offerings for the segment. Within the 2018 New Products Showcase, entries that piqued the most buyer interest were Chevy’s LT5 crate engine, Digipower’s DPW Cutout exhaust system and Comp Performance Group’s FAST LSXHR 103mm intake manifold.
Adding new wheels is still typically among the first modifications consumers make to their vehicles. Whether their vision is to improve aesthetics or performance, this segment of the automotive specialty-equipment market has the potential to make their ride stand out from the rest of the pack.
Lower South Hall at the SEMA Show is home to the Global Tire Expo, where more than 200 exhibitors feature their products. In addition to tires for cars, trucks and off-road applications, the section includes accessories and equipment related to tire-pressure monitoring systems and repairs.
The 2018 SEMA Show featured nearly 3,000 new products on display in the New Products Showcase—the No. 1 destination for attending buyers and media. All products entered were eligible for SEMA New Product Awards in 16 different categories, including street-performance, racing, off-roading and mobile-electronics, and each category had one winner and two runners-up. The annual competition recognizes the development of ground-breaking new products introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market.