Fast Lane Research News readers were
recently asked to participate in an industry study to establish a benchmark for performance, trends and opinions at the beginning
of 2010. Last week we previewed some of the aggregated information and this week we are continuing to highlight information
from the upcoming report.
The responses from
our readers were generous and have helped to establish a current snapshot of market behavior. Most of the participants were
manufacturers (66%), followed by warehouse/distributors (10%) and jobbers (8%). The remaining participants were a nearly even
mix of retailers, installers and representatives from industry publications.
Each business was asked to highlight the markets they would target during 2010 and despite
the reduced sales of consumer pickups and SUVs the largest segment selected was Light Trucks (69%). The next popular markets
were Modern Domestic Muscle Cars (47%), Classic Muscle Cars (43%), Hot Rods/Street Rods (43%), Off Road (41%) and Restoration/
Modern muscle cars and the
revived “pony war” mentality of OEMs, vehicle owners and fans are providing the specialty equipment industry with
a vital shot in the arm. All of the new contemporary muscle platforms are capable in and of themselves, but they also enable
enthusiasts the opportunity to continue the automotive love-affair and performance manufacturers to squeeze even more out
of them. It should be no surprise then that nearly half (47%) of industry businesses will be targeting
these models and their communities in the current year. Moreover, the convergence of automotive lifestyles of young and old
enthusiasts paired with the overwhelming acceptance of these vehicle designs has broadened the market. In other words, more
consumers are interested and the “pie” has grown.