The Fastest Growing After-Market Part and Accessory Segments

When I reviewed the 2013 SEMA annual marketing report a few weeks ago (which I wrote more about here), a table in the first few pages of the report caught my eye.

Essentially, this table tallied the annual revenue of after-market parts and accessories by segment. Without revealing specific numbers (SEMA wants you to pay to see their data), I thought it would be interesting to identify the top-performing segments as well as the slow movers.

I did a simple linear regression calculation, then sorted the segments by slope. Larger slopes mean faster growth rates, while negative slopes mean shrinkage. Here are the results.

Fastest Growing After-Market Part & Accessory Segments, 2008-2012

  1. Video/Entertainment/Navigational Systems
  2. Cellular/iPod/Bluetooth Accessories
  3. Specialty/Performance Tires
  4. Custom Wheels
  5. Oil and Maintenance Chemicals
  6. Suspension
  7. Chassis Products
  8. Ignition Products
  9. Engine Control Units/Computers
  10. Amplifiers and Speakers

After looking at this list and reviewing some of our other data, I think the growth in suspension, custom wheels, and specialty/performance tires is related…we’ve been seeing an awful lot of activity surrounding lift kits on social media, and Google Trends shows that the term “lift kit” has really exploded between 2008 and 2012 as compared to the term “bed liner,” which has been flat.

As for the growth in the “Video/Entertainment/Navigational Systems” and “Cellular/iPod/Bluetooth Accessories” segments, there’s very little mystery. Advances in technology have made all sorts of accessories feasible, and consumers have responded pretty aggressively.

The Fastest SHRINKING After-Market Part & Accessory Segments, 2008-2012

Note: None of these segments are growing, at least over the last 5 years. If you throw out 2008, some of the segments actually show growth (but not much). Starting with the fastest-shrinking segment…

  1. Truck Bed Liners and Other Bed Accessories
  2. Appearance/Accessory Truck – Exterior
  3. Appearance/Accessory Products – Interior
  4. Truck Caps and Bed Covers
  5. Trailer/Towing Products
  6. Racks and Cargo Carriers/Boxes
  7. Appearance/Accessory Car – Exterior
  8. Graphics and Window Treatments
  9. Players, Chargers, Receivers, and Tuners
  10. Audio and Sound Accessories – Other

If I had to guess – and this is only a guess – I’d say that a lot of these segments are very dependent upon new vehicle sales. I’d guess that bed liner sales are driven by new truck sales, for example, and that graphic and window treatment sales probably rise and fall with the new vehicle market.

However, some segments – like trailer and towing products – may be shrinking as a result of fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It’s hard to know for sure (well, at least for me).

NOTE: I’m not exactly sure how SEMA differentiates between segments. “Amplifiers and Speakers” seems pretty straightforward, but “Chassis Products” is a bit of a mystery. If you want to know which is which, you need to buy the SEMA report and/or become a SEMA member.

Thoughts? Comments?

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