Light trucks carry load of potential for accessories

Posted by Insignia Group on Aug 10, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Short of projection, but ahead of 2014 numbers, light-vehicle sales continue to rise. Carmakers Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Nissan and Toyota lead the way. According to a report from, sales climbed 3.9% in June 2014. This trend continues a banner year for light vehicles. June numbers registered below May’s, but above the same month in 2014.

It’s the best first half for the segment in the past decade.

In a recession-recovery climate, light vehicles show consistent growth. Sales have increased for six straight years, prompting optimism for 2015 and beyond. The National Automobile Dealers Association 2015 forecast increased from 16.94 million to 17.17 million.

Bill Fay is division group vice president for Toyota. He recognizes the momentum in the market. “Some of the economic data on consumer confidence is very strong, and interest rates remain very affordable,” he told Auto News.

Wheels, tires and suspension sales surge with light trucks
The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s report reveals growth in all product segments in 2014.

Wheels, tires and suspension add-ons leaped 11.7% from 2013 numbers. That represents the largest increase of the three. Performance products saw 8% growth, and accessory and appearance products grew by 5.2%. The report also revealed the continued health of light truck sales.

Only the street performance niche registered a larger percentage gain (14.3% to 9.2%).

Light trucks include CUVs, pickups, SUVs and vans. They took a hit in 2007 with the economic downturn and spike in fuel prices. Accessory sales suffered too. Since its resurgence, light truck accessory sales have shifted in scope, too.


Wheels, tires and suspension accounted for $866 million in sales in the SEMA report. Accessory and appearance products once dominated, but were just $82 million more.

Three areas within wheels, tires and suspension were on the rise:

CUSTOM WHEELS | Lightweight construction and a creative array of finishes make these a favorite.

SPECIALTY/PERFORMANCE TIRES | Owners can choose from aggressive-tread off-road models to wide, low-profile street tires.

SUSPENSION | Custom wheels and specialty tires sometimes lead to upgrades to standard suspensions. It’s crucial that your staff knows which are appropriate.

Are you ready to meet the demand?

The light truck segment shows incredible promise for sales and accessories. The process of vehicle customization is both appearance-driven and practical. Whether a customer wants attractive wheels or enhanced performance, there’s an opportunity for dealerships.

Can your staff see the customer’s vision? If so, you can create the experience they’re after. You can also sell perhaps a level or two higher for aesthetics and performance. It starts with knowledge of lead-in products. The ability to see the process move to higher levels comes next.



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Topics: Accessory News, Increase Profits