Report: Automotive Accessory Buyers Do Their Research


According to a study conducted by Rochester Hills-based automotive research company Foresight Research, accessorizing vehicles isn’t something most car enthusiasts do on a whim. Though data indicates that half of all new cars and trucks will be accessorized in the first two years of ownership, brand names appear to be important to customers when it comes to the types of accessories they buy.

Data from Foresight Research’s new study, called “Inside the Accessory Buyer’s Mind,” demonstrates that most customers prefer to purchase accessories consistent with their vehicle’s brand, and that spontaneous purchases happen infrequently. Foresight Research president Chris Stommel says the wealth of information online and marketing materials from suppliers can help automotive enthusiasts make informed decisions.

“The showroom remains a critical point-of-purchase; the study confirms that when personnel do hold an accessory conversation during the dealership visit, both installation rates and total spending rise,” says Stommel.

“But as today’s consumers are well-prepared before that even occurs, accessory marketers need a clear understanding of their customers, where they are gathering their information — and what messages will ring the bell.  This is particularly important when trying to capture the big spenders — those representing just 29 percent of all accessory buyers, yet 76 percent of all dollars spent.”

The study also found that across the industry, accessory dollars per new vehicle averaged $247 in the first 120 days, and $974 within the first two years. Of all 23 brands studied, luxury brands such as Acura, BMW, Audi, and Cadillac are leaders in the accessory market, while Ram and Ford Motor Co. lead the pickup truck segment.

Additionally, 20 percent of accessory buyers reported that the ability to add accessories played a major role in their purchase decision.

Founded in 2008, Foresight Research specializes in syndicated and custom studies focusing on key influencers of purchase decisions in the automotive industry.

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