Issue: Apr 2006


The Driving Force Behind Vehicle Modification - Frost & Sullivan Spots Surprising Consumer Trends



by Tolu Babalola

Vehicle modification was once the interest of more extreme enthusiasts, but has become a popular pastime for all types of vehicle owners. Today, new vehicle owners are also showing a strong interest. Frost & Sullivan's latest analysis provides insight into the motivation from consumers and how much they invest in this pastime, as well as the potential of product sales to support the hobby.

Frost & Sullivan's Automotive & Transportation Group (http://www.transportation.frost.com/ ) finds that over 30% of vehicle enthusiasts have modified five or more vehicles to date with strong intentions to continue modifying. Furthermore, 44% of respondents spend between $1,000 and $3,000 annually.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end-users, and other industry participants an overview of the Analysis of Attitudes and Behaviors of U.S. Vehicle Modification Enthusiasts, then send an e-mail to Tolu Babalola - Corporate Communications at tolu.babalola@frost.com with the following information: full name, company name, title, telephone number, e-mail address, city, state, and country. The brochure will be e-mailed to you upon receipt of this information.

"The automotive modification industry is being driven by social forces. In North America, vehicles have become an important component of a person's image, but that image must be unique. Modification is the key means through which consumers can achieve a unique image," observes Consulting Analyst Mary- Beth Kellenberger.

Today's vehicle owners see the original vehicle as incomplete. "The extent to which consumers will modify their vehicle depends on three factors: the enthusiast's level of interest, skill level and budget," states Consumer Research Project Manager Dr. Rick Brown. Indications are that interest levels are on the rise. Enthusiast skill levels appear to be trending upward, but more importantly, budgets are high and those who cannot actually do the work are purchasing the services to achieve their goals.

The modification industry has benefited from vehicle manufacturer's recent emphasis on vehicle styling and performance. New vehicle owners, those with vehicles less than 3 years in age, make up a significant proportion of enthusiasts. "To sustain the momentum, component manufacturers need to focus on newer vehicle applications and ensure they have modification components available to the public early in the vehicle's life cycle," comments Ms. Kellenberger.

Dr. Brown observes, "Much of the modification decisions are based around the availability of a disposable income." It will be important for participants in the modification industry to monitor both the economic conditions as well as the life cycle stages of participants to gauge on going interest.

An Analysis of the Attitudes and Behaviors of U.S. Vehicle Modification Enthusiasts is part of the 9801 Aftermarket subscription, which also includes research in the following markets:

- North American Tires Aftermarket, A711-18
- North American Wheels Aftermarket, A676-18
- North American Brake Systems Parts Aftermarket, A396-18
- North American Exhaust Aftermarket, F533-18

All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Analyst and consultant interviews are available to the press.

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics and demographics. For more information, visit http://www.frost.com/ .

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