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SEMA: Tires among most-preferred accessories

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Tires and wheels are among the most sought after accessories for new vehicle sales according to a new study by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). The “Influence of Accessories on New Vehicle Sales” study finds that accessories influence more than 1 million new vehicle sales each year, help reinforce customer satisfaction, and can substantially increase sales at the dealership level.

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

The study 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.

Key highlights from the study include:

* Tires, wheels, audio, navigation and sunroofs are the most sought-after modifications. 

* Accessories influence more than 1 million new vehicle purchases each year.

* Customized vehicles in a dealership showroom have the largest influence on new car purchase decisions - 65% 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 – this reflects 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 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% of modifiers are purchasing accessories through dealerships.

The study, conducted by AutoPacific, looked at the persuasive effects created by accessory products, including those most likely to create the greatest influence. The SEMA/Auto Pacific study is now available and can be accessed at The report can be downloaded at no cost for SEMA members and $199 for non-members

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