The specialty-equipment industry continues to experience strong growth and demand as the U.S. puts COVID-19 in the rearview mirror. According to the new “State of the Industry–Spring 2022” report from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), 75% of manufacturers, 68% of distributors, and 53% of retailers/installers report that sales are currently above where they were prior to the pandemic, and consumer demand is equally higher for most companies than in 2019.
However, despite strong industry growth, concerns remain due to ongoing supply chain issues, inflation, economic uncertainty, and the war in Ukraine.
“We know that automobiles are exciting and that there are countless job opportunities for women in the industry,” said Sara Morosan, SBN Chair Elect. “The 2022 SBN All-Female Vehicle Build will again shine the light on this important initiative and help women see what’s possible.”
The report, which includes 70 pages of new industry data, helps companies make better business decisions by highlighting current industry trends, business metrics, and estimates on how sales have changed over the last year, and it provides a look into the ongoing supply disruption and a pulse check of consumers as they navigate economic uncertainty and higher prices.
Additional key findings from the report include:
- More than half of companies expect sales to continue to grow in the coming year.
- Supply chain issues remain a challenge for over 90% of the industry, and most don’t see things returning to normal until at least 2023.
- The current inflation rate of 8.5% is the highest it has been in 40 years, yet consumers continue to spend.
- Despite gas prices being up over 40% on average from where they were last year, 80% of Americans still plan to take a road trip this summer.
- Amid record consumer demand, 70% of manufacturers, 56% of distributors, and 45% of retail installers have had difficulty filling open positions due to a shortage of qualified applicants to hire.
The complete “State of the Industry—Spring 2022” report is available to download for free at www.sema.org/research.
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $47.89 billion specialty-automotive industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. Association resources include market research, legislative advocacy, training and product development support, as well as leading trade shows such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev., and the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, Ind.