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Performance tires sales totaled $3.5 billion, says SEMA

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According to a new report, performance tire sales accounted for $3.5 billion, or 12%, of the $28.9 billion automotive specialty equipment market in 2003.

In its annual report, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) pegged handling improvements -- which include performance tires, custom wheels, performance braking systems, steering components and suspension products -- at $7.27 billion. So tire sales make up almost half of that total.

Appearance accessories accounted for $16.55 billion; they include truck bedliners, graphics, body kits and sunroofs. Products to improve performance or for use in racing generated $5.08 billion.

"The balance of product sectors within our market didn't shift much last year," says Christopher Kersting, SEMA's CEO and president. Here's how they compared to 2002:

* Handling improvement -- no change.

* Appearance accessories -- up one-tenth of one percent.

* Performance and racing products -- down one-half percent (although dollar sales grew 3.6%).

For more information about the results, visit www.sema.org, or contact Jim Spoonhower, vice president of market research, at jims@sema.org.

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