Auto accessory study looks at influence on vehicle sales


A new study suggests auto accessories might be more important to vehicle sales than many would think.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), says accessories influence more than 1 million new vehicle sales each year, help reinforce customer satisfaction and can substantially increase sales at the dealership level.

The results, released this week in a study called Influence of Accessories on New Vehicle Sales, shows that accessorization can influence new car shoppers to choose vehicle platforms that are accessory-friendly, even influencing those who do not actually accessorize their vehicle.

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

“Automotive dealers and the specialty parts industry will be eager to see that accessories influence vehicle choice and represent a ripe market for a substantial portion of new car and truck buyers.”

Key highlights from this study included:
-    Customized vehicles in a dealership showroom have the largest influence on new car purchase decisions
-    - 65 per cent of people said they were influenced by a customized vehicle they saw displayed in a dealer showroom
-    One-third of “non-modifiers” said the key to buying accessories is to have them offered at the time of purchase
-    Those who are influenced by customization (modifiers) tend to advise others about new cars – modifiers bring attention to specific brands
-    People who make modifications have high satisfaction with their vehicles 23 per cent 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.

It went on to explore which vehicle types are more likely to be purchased based on accessory options and availability; consumers’ perceptions of specialty equipment products vs. OEM aftermarket products; and purchasing/modifying accessories through aftermarket retailers vs. dealerships.