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SEMA: Americans Spent Some $43B On Vehicle Mods Last Year

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According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), in the United States last year, $43 billion was spent on specialty automotive equipment, including things like power and drivetrain modifiers, stylish wheels, custom interior appointments, and more. This represents the industry’s eighth straight year of post-recession growth, and a 4-percent increase over 2016. Spending in the sector is only expected to increase through the end of 2018.

For Ford fans, the most obvious vehicles to modify are the automaker’s performance-oriented car models: Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Focus RS, and of course, Mustang. But let’s not forget about the venerable Ford F-150; according to SEMA, pickup truck products accounted for $12.44 billion – nearly 29 percent – of all specialty equipment products purchased in 2017.

This information is all included in the 2018 SEMA Market Report, along with other key findings, including: 33% of all specialty equipment buyers in 2017 were under the age of 30, and 42% of forced-induction products (turbochargers, superchargers) purchased were self-installed. Additionally, while the internet continues to cause trouble for traditional brick-and-mortar stores, two-thirds of all specialty equipment purchases were made in-store in 2017.


The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas is a must-attend event for anyone working in the automotive specialty equipment industry. This year’s show is scheduled to take place from Oct 30th through Nov 2nd, and if you’re a fan of custom, high-performance Fords, you won’t want to miss it; each year, the automaker and its partners display a dizzying array of builds, ranging from racy Fiestas to F-Series-based prerunners.

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Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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