By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The automotive performance and accessories parts market grew 7.7 percent last year, led by sales in appearance accessories, which are increasingly becoming mainstream products, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
Last year, total automotive specialty parts sales increased to $28.9 billion, up from $26.8 billion in 2002, said SEMA.
Christopher Kersting, president/CEO said, "It's apparent that automotive appearance products are becoming increasingly more mainstream. In the early days of the specialty equipment industry, our customers were primarily enthusiasts interested in racing and performance. Today, more and more accessories are being purchased by non-enthusiast consumers."
Appearance accessories accounted for the majority of sales (57.7 percent), with nearly $17 billion spent on items such as truck bedliners, graphics, body kits and sunroofs.
Performance products such as braking systems, steering, suspension products, custom wheels and performance tires took the second largest share of the market at $7.27 billion, or 25.1 percent of the market. Within the handling equipment sector of the market, performance tire sales were $3.5 billion, running closely with custom wheel sales at $3.3 billion.
Products that improve performance or for use in racing generated $5.08 billion, 17.6 percent of the total).
SEMA said the market share of the different product sectors remained similar to 2002.
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