Tire and Wheel Trends 2023: Embracing Style And Functionality
Conceptually, wheels and tires are just a small part of any vehicle. However, the aftermarket is almost an “industry” with various models, technologies, development techniques, and accessories.
The following article summarizes the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) 2022 report on their sales, profits, and forecast trends for the coming year. Let’s read and update the latest models!
Sizing The Market
SEMA 2022 exhibition brings many positive signals in sales of aftermarket tires and wheels
According to the SEMA 2022 Market Report, wheel, tire, and suspension sales account for $11.94 billion. Of which, more than half of total revenue belongs to wheels and tires, about 6.60 billion USD, including specialized and performance tires ($2.79 billion), oversized and off-road tires (2.13 billion USD) USD), custom wheels ($1.55 billion) and some of the rest ($0.13 billion). The numbers all show strong growth compared to previous years in each field.
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In terms of sales, most car segments have increased. The highest sales were for off-road and oversized tires at 68% for pickups, while SUVs were in second place with 23%. Most tire purchases are in-store, but DIY installation only accounts for 27% of oversized and off-road tires and 25% of specialty and performance tires.
The wheel is similar, with 40% of the transactions done and installed in the store. Online orders fall into two categories: home delivery (31%) and in-store installation (21%) of the total. Wheel sales for each line are specifically shown in the chart below:
Mike Lusso, the president-elect of the SEMA Wheels & Tires Council (WTC), has seen many positive trends in wheels and tires in 2023. Overall, some positive signs, like:
- Supply chain issues are being solved.
- The development of electric vehicles underpins the introduction of assistive devices.
- Pneumatic tires continue to develop production.
Besides, there are difficulties in meeting the market demands of foreign enterprises, especially the long time of testing materials. Inflation also contributed to more consumers measuring in the Tier-2 space and moving quickly to Tier-3.
Predicted Market Trends 2023
Based on statistics from the previous year, experts suggest that several trends will explode from 2023 that they are tracking, such as:
- The dominance of pickup trucks, especially CUVs, in the US market over the next decade entailed the growth of tire and wheel offerings.
- Consumer demand increases proportionally with overlanding, off-roading, and power sports.
- Limiting production expansion costs by competition among countries: India, China, Vietnam, and Thailand.
- The rise of electric vehicles leads to increased sales and performance of wheels and tires, helping to focus on improving productivity and operations.
- Sustainable green initiative trends and regulations accelerate the search for raw materials and production processes.
Threats And Opportunities
One of the tire models that Venom Power brought to the SEMA exhibition
The formation of trends creates fierce competition among tire manufacturers, driving marketing development and market share expansion. For example, Venom Power and Predator Tire, a subsidiary of Transamerica Tire based in Tennessee, Memphis, aim for a covered truck. They guarantee not only a good product but also a widely known brand. They need a strong media campaign that impacts consumers to get there.
On the other hand, the tire manufacturing industry has expanded with more different aspects to develop than before. Thanks to advanced technology, there are more options in materials and designs, providing effective handling of grip, wet traction, and small, crumbling obstacles. Moreover, the development of electric vehicles directs users to reduce weight and move smoothly with suitable tires.
Tire dealers can benefit from selling additional or replacement parts such as the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) or smart sensors, which provide age, pressure, and safety data. In addition, external tools, such as compact air compressors, can also be used in emergencies.
Despite being affected by the pandemic, the wheel market is still active, with many different designs, materials, and colors. At the SEMA Show 2022, exhibitors showcased powerful spokesmodels for most vehicle models with colorful coatings.
According to Douglas, automotive service manager at Stockton Wheels Service, customers are looking for safe, reliable alternatives with eye-catching, durable designs. Basic colors such as yellow, orange, white, blue, or 5-6 spoke designs are no longer suitable.
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Through the exhibition, models, colors, technology, and techniques of wheel design were introduced. For example, Superior Industries (Michigan-based) is highly regarded for its chrome-plated wheels, offers premium acrylic and powder coating, and has the industry’s only approved PVD color coating process.
Specialized companies also introduce the laser engraving process, which can go through different color layers, creating intricate lines on the wheel.
The most notable among them is the flow-forging technique from companies in the Asia Pacific region. The product of this technique has a high cost. However, it ensures monolithic solidity. They are still working to reduce the price, making it a trending product in 2023.
Improved wheel models designed to support traction and easily pass obstacles
After a tough year, supply chain issues are improving, with shipping costs halving and physical prices down, said Chris Buck, owner of Custom Wheel Accessories.
The best-selling item currently is aluminum spacers with over 400 SKUs for car bumpers and adapters. Coming in second are OEM, Ford, UTV, and GM lug nuts.
In contrast, outdated accessories such as axle caps or replica camcorders are difficult to sell because very few new cars today use them. However, companies still keep a few in stock to service 30 years old or older vehicles.
The Road Ahead
In general, the whole industry is showing good signs of development, but there are also some challenges ahead:
- Inflation leads to threats of recession and reduced demand.
- The decline in car sales, which could impact the aftermarket in the future
- High prices influence used car buyers, and replacement demand also falls.
- The mobile business model can overwhelm traditional operations.
New technologies can drive market consumption for long-term growth, so store owners must be trained. The relationship between personnel and products such as wheels and tires is quite close because they affect not only visuals but also safety and operational performance.
Key personnel must be trained in the skills to use and combine them. Although this is quite expensive, there is no denying that it ensures long-term benefits for large and small companies.
Tire and wheel trends 2023 is an opportunity to rise in the challenge when the general market is gradually recovering. Green and sustainable industry trends guide the manufacturing industry to choose environmentally sustainable materials, supply chains, and production methods.
In addition, improvements in technology, engineering, variety of colors, and designs help wheels and tires have good visuals and safety and significantly improve performance.
Customizing your car to your liking and enhancing its operation is no longer a big deal. Whether manufacturer, salesperson, or customer can grasp good benefits this year!