A lot of people were complaining that they were bored during the height of the pandemic, being forced to stay inside and basically watch Netflix until their eyeballs fell out. Anybody with a project car likely didn’t feel bored, however, as there was now plenty of time to get out into the garage and wrench away an afternoon. According to the 2022 SEMA Market Report, so many people got outside and played with their old cars that it set a new record for automotive aftermarket sales. The number topped $50.9 billion, up from $47.9 billion during the first year of the pandemic.
The SEMA Market report includes new data on the U.S. market size, consumer profiling, industry trends, and changes in the vehicle population, and provides a comprehensive review of the specialty-equipment market.
A large reason for the increase in sales easing restrictions related to in-person shopping, and people becoming more comfortable going back into stores. In 2021, the split between in-person shopping and online purchases was roughly 50/50 compared to 55% online in 2020 and 45% in 2019.
Based on the SEMA report, trucks were the most modified models, accounting for 31% percent of specialty equipment sales, and amassing an estimated 13.6 million vehicles.
The excitement to build cars has had an adverse effect on the current market, however, with the supply chain now woefully behind the eight-ball, and many parts back-ordered for months. 2022 will likely not reach the same sales heights as a result, but hopefully, we’ll see a lot more old vehicles roaming the streets as a result.