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Sales Growing Across the Industry According to Latest SEMA Market Research

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The automotive specialty-equipment industry continues to see growth, strong demand, and less volatility this year, according to the new “SEMA State of the Industry–Spring 2024 Report,” a bi-annual report focusing on the current business climate, key industry trends, and metrics. The report is provided to SEMA members free-of-charge.

A total of 48% of manufacturers reported an increase in company sales over the past year—an 8% increase compared to Fall 2023. Distributors saw the largest sales shift, with 49% reporting an increase in sales, marking an 18% rise compared to last Fall. Meanwhile, a majority of retailers (43%) reported that their sales remained steady.

“Businesses across the board have continued to see improved sales growth, although rising costs remain a significant challenge across the industry,” said SEMA Market Research Director Gavin Knapp. “Our research suggests that despite the price increases, companies are optimistic about their future sales and the growth of the specialty-equipment market in the next 3-5 years.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Sales Rising: More than half of manufacturers (57%), distributors (53%), and retailers (50%) expect their company sales to grow over the coming year.
  • Opportunity Segments: 38% of manufacturers view off-road as having high opportunity, while 36% of retailers see high opportunity in restoration and classic cars.
  • Help Wanted: A total of 84% of manufacturers and 80% percent of distributors expect to hire over the next year, particularly in sales, labor, and engineering.
  • Prices Leveling Off: Many companies have increased their prices due to increased supplier and production costs; however, 43% of manufacturers, 34% of distributors, and 34% of retailer/installers are expecting to hold prices steady over the next year.
  • Pickups a Segment Leader: Pickups remain the top vehicle segment for the aftermarket with the highest sales growth among manufacturers and retailers/installers over the past year. Still, companies see opportunity across a number of different segments.
  • New Car Prices Dropping: The average price for a new car is $47,244–a decrease of 2% vs. May 2023.

Chapters within the report include industry performance, sales shifts by channel, vehicle segment insights, products and vehicle trends, manufacturer insights, and retailer and installer trends.

SEMA business members can download the report for free as a benefit of membership at www.sema.org/research.   

This story was originally published on May 22, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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