Sales of specialty-equipment parts reached a new high in the US in 2021, increasing to $50.9 billion in retail sales for the first time in history – up from $47.9 billion in 2020.
The finding comes from the new “2022 SEMA Market Report,” and provides the automotive aftermarket industry a comprehensive review of the specialty equipment market in 2021. The report includes new data on the US market size, consumer profiling, industry trends, and changes in the vehicle population.
SEMA estimates that the growth was driven by strong consumer interest in working on their car or truck, as more than 80% of specialty-equipment consumers reported spending as much, if not more, time working on their personal vehicles as they did during 2020.
“The 2022 SEMA Market Report can help member companies identify key areas of interest for consumers, and where the most money was spent on parts in 2021,” said SEMA director of market research Gavin Knapp. “As our biggest research report of the year, this is a must-read for any business owner who wants to make strategic, data-driven decisions.”
Restrictions on in-person shopping eased in 2021, prompting consumers to become more comfortable going back into stores to buy parts. The split of in-store versus online sales in 2021 was roughly 50/50, compared to 54% online in 2020, and 45% online in 2019. This normalisation is expected to continue in 2022.
Pickups remain the single biggest segment in the specialty-equipment parts market, as an estimated 13.6 million pickups were modified by consumers in 2021, accounting 31% of specialty-equipment parts sales.
Ongoing supply chain issues are also a concern in 2022. More than 90% of specialty-equipment manufacturers, distributors, and retailers feel that their business has been impacted by supply-chain-related challenges. This, in turn, is softening expectations regarding 2022 sales.