SEMA: Consumers pick independent retailers most

by | Mar 11, 2020 | 0 comments

Independent retailers in the automotive aftermarket remain the most used sales channel for getting parts to consumers, according to the new SEMA Industry Perspectives Report,

While manufacturers and distributors sell into a variety of channels, including direct-to-consumer, over 80 percent of manufacturers report that their products sell through independent specialty retailers. While many retailers and installers report selling some of their inventory through online auction sites and marketplaces, these only account for 7 percent of sales.

Over 70 percent of smaller manufacturers, with under $1 million in annual sales, sell directly to consumers, while less than 30 percent have their parts stocked by dealerships or chain stores.

The report is the latest resource for SEMA members to gain insight on the health of the industry on a wide range of business metrics.

“The new report is based directly on industry feedback and will help companies understand the state of the specialty equipment industry and the outlook of other businesses in the industry,” said SEMA Director of Market Research Gavin Knapp. “In addition to providing metrics on the health of the market, this wave of the report also looks at sales trends among key business types and effects of the current regulatory climate.”

Other findings in the report include:
Over 70 percent of businesses (76 percent of manufacturers, 69 percent of distributors, and 72 percent of retailers and installers) expect their sales to grow over the next year
Nearly 50 percent of manufacturers and distributors expect the industry as a whole to grow in 2020.

Only 15 percent of businesses reported a decline in sales over the past year while roughly 60 percent reported growth
Uncertainty about trade policies and regulatory changes is also creating ambiguity heading into 2020. Manufacturers, retailers and installers estimate the potentially unfavorable changes in America’s legal and regulatory environment may represent a key issue for the industry over the next five years.

Manufacturers and distributors are also voicing a concern about the potential for ongoing tariff and trade policy disputes to harm the industry in the near term.

Download the report for free from SEMA Market Research at


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