Study: Accessories Influence 1 Million Auto Sales a Year

Auto accessories influence more than 1 million new-vehicle sales each year, according to a study from the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. This is the most extensive research our industry has conducted on the relationship between the availability of accessories and new vehicle sales, says SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. Key highlights from the study called Influence of Accessories on New Vehicle

Auto accessories influence more than 1 million new-vehicle sales each year, according to a study from the Specialty Equipment Market Assn.

“This is the most extensive research our industry has conducted on the relationship between the availability of accessories and new vehicle sales,” says SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.

Key highlights from the study called “Influence of Accessories on New Vehicle Sales”:

  • Customized vehicles displayed at a dealership showroom have the largest influence on new-car purchase decisions. Sixty-five percent of people said they were influenced by a customized vehicle they saw in a showroom.
  • One-third of “non-modifiers” said the key to buying accessories is to have them offered at the time of purchase, reflecting the importance of offering accessories in the sales process.
  • Nearly one in 10 “non-modifiers” are influenced to buy a model by seeing an accessorized version.
  • One-third of modifiers are influenced to buy their vehicle due to availability of specialty parts.
  • Those who are influenced by customization (modifiers) tend to advise others about new cars.
  • People who make modifications have high satisfaction with their vehicles.
  • Twenty-three percent of modifiers are purchasing accessories through dealerships.
  • Tires, wheels, audio, navigation and sunroofs are the most sought-after modifications.

The study, conducted by AutoPacific, looked at the persuasive effects created by accessory products, including those most likely to create the greatest influence.

The study explores which vehicle types are more likely to be purchased based on accessory options and availability; consumers' perceptions of specialty equipment products vs. auto makers' aftermarket products; and purchasing/modifying accessories through aftermarket retailers vs. dealerships.

The SEMA/Auto Pacific study was conducted using input from three distinct groups:

  • Consumers that have modified or plan to modify their vehicle.
  • Non-modifiers that have not modified a vehicle previously.
  • Auto makers, with interviews related to accessory operations and strategies.

“The idea behind personalized display vehicles is that people see things they haven't seen anywhere else when they walk into a showroom,” says Beau Boeckmann, vice president of the Galpin Ford dealership in North Hills, Calif.

“A customer doesn't have to design their own vehicle — the possibilities are already on display in the showroom — once they see and fall in love with it, they buy it.”

He calls it “a 1-stop shopping experience.”

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