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Growth of the Compact Performance Market

UST A FEW YEARS AGO there was concern for the future of the automotive specialty market. Baby boomers were aging and becoming less involved in the market, while Generation X seemed considerably less interested in performance vehicles. Generation Y, however, has breathed new life into the industry and given it hope for a strong future.

SEMA began studying the compact-performance market in 1997, observing phenomenal growth over the last decade. According to SEMA, the typical compact-performance enthusiast is between 18 and 25 years old. Unlike the previous hot-rod generation, women have become increasingly involved in this market, comprising almost 20 percent of the entire population. As the market has grown across the country, ethnic diversity has also become apparent.

Although Honda remains the vehicle make of choice among young compact-performance enthusiasts, other manufacturers have been paying close attentionand are designing cars aimed at attracting young buyers. For example, the Honda Element, SCION xB and Nissan Cube all feature similar styles aimed at capturing the youth market. Even manufacturers thet don't currently have a significant share of the youth market are competing for a slice opf the pie. Ford, for example, has mounted campaigns to promote the Mustang to the young.

Many differences exist between the original hot-rod generation and the one of today, but a close look reveals a number of of important similarities as well. For example, like today, many of the early hot-rodders ran four-cylinder cars, and just as in the past, the car lifestyle is the key to the entire culture. Enthusiasts have their own unique ways of dressing and talking, while car shows and competitions are what they live for, and are the ultimate motivation to put together the best-performing and best-looking vehicles they can.

AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are a perfect match for compact performance enthusiasts, offering second-to-none protection and performance for all makes of vehicles, keeping equipment running in top condition and reducing friction for increased horsepower and improved fuel efficiency.

Top Generation Y Vehicle Makes

Make Percent
Honda 25.7%
Nissan 11.2%
Toyota 9.3%
Ford 7.4%
Acura 6.9%
Chevrolet 6.5%
Mitsubishi 5.1%
Mazda 3.8%
Volkswagen 3.6%
Dodge 3.1%

Source: AMSOIL DirectLine Newsletter, July 1, 2006

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