SEMA Sees Growth During Pandemic

SEMA Sees Growth During Pandemic

Manufacturers report double-digit sales increases at independent specialty shops and through online direct-to-consumer.

The automotive specialty-equipment industry, SEMA, has largely weathered the pandemic, with many companies reporting sales growth over the past year and anticipating continued growth in the coming months, according to new SEMA Market Research.

Findings from the new “SEMA State of the Industry—Spring 2021” report indicate that the majority of businesses saw significant sales growth during the pandemic: 66% of manufacturers, 60% of distributors, and 40% of retailers/installers reported increased sales compared to 12 months ago, and nearly three-fourths of all manufacturers and distributors expect sales to increase over the coming year.  

Filled with data on how the pandemic has impacted businesses in the automotive specialty-equipment industry, the 63-page market research report helps companies understand how the market is performing. Key findings from the report include:

  • The specialty-equipment industry saw minimal staffing disruption because of the pandemic, with most maintaining or growing staffing levels. Additionally, 83% of manufacturers, 77% of distributors, and 63% of retailers/installers plan on hiring more staff over the coming year.
  • Many companies selling in the pickup, sports car, and classic segments reported double-digit growth in the past 12 months.
  • Manufacturers saw sales increase across many channels, especially direct-to-consumer through their company website and at independent specialty retailers.
  • The industry saw growth across a variety of product categories. Manufacturers and retailers saw significant sales growth in performance categories especially, including intake and suspension products.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, retail sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers hit $139.5 billion—its highest level in U.S. history. Despite the pandemic, consumers continue to work on their cars.
  • According to a survey of Americans conducted by Hertz, over 80% of Americans plan on taking a road trip this summer. This means a lot more driving, and potentially a lot more potential engagement with the specialty-equipment industry.

At a time when most countries, like Japan and the European Zone, are experiencing economic contractions, the U.S. is showing strong growth after the disruption from the pandemic. This strong growth is expected to continue through the rest of 2021, as the services part of the economy fully reopens.

To learn more about the current state of the specialty-equipment industry and outlook for the future, download the new “SEMA State of the Industry—Spring 2021” report today at

You May Also Like

Standard Motor Products Releases Q4, 2023 Year-End Results

Eric Sills, chairman and CEO, said the company is looking to continue to find ways to better service customers and explore opportunities to partner for growth in 2024.


Standard Motor Products, Inc. released its consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ending December 31, 2023. The company reported fourth-quarter net sales of $290.8 million, compared to $308.2 million in the same period in 2022. Earnings from continuing operations for the quarter were $7.2 million or $0.32 per diluted share, down from $8.5 million or $0.39 per diluted share in Q4 2022. Excluding non-operational gains and losses, earnings were $8.2 million or $0.37 per diluted share, compared to $15.1 million or $0.69 per diluted share in the previous year.

Phinia Reports Q4 Results & 2024 Outlook

Phinia reported that it expects strong earnings and cash generation in 2024, driven by operational efficiencies, and growth in aftermarket sales.

financial results
GPC Delivers on 2023 Financial Goals

GPC reported mid-single-digit total sales growth and its third consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth.

MPA Reports Strong Financial Results for Fiscal Q3 2024

MPA’s Q3 results showed increases in net sales, operating income and cash flow from operating activities.

O’Reilly Reports Q4, Full-Year 2023 Financial Results

The company said it anticipates continued growth in 2024, with projections including 190 to 200 net new store openings.

financial results

Other Posts

SEMA Announces Candidates for Board of Directors

Voting will take place online between May 28 and June 11, and is open to current SEMA-member companies.

Opposition Grows for California’s Mandate Banning New Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales

SEMA members and industry consumers sent EPA over 5,000 letters in opposition to the ACC II Waiver.

Opposition Grows for California’s Mandate Banning New Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales
Forvia Reports FY 2023 Results After HELLA Acquisition

The company reported synergies with HELLA, with cumulative net cost synergies reaching over $200 million by the end of 2023.

SEMA Garage Detroit Granted CARB Recognition

SEMA will now be able to offer certification-level exhaust emissions testing to help members in developing products.