Since the mid-1990s, car customization, or “tuning” as it is known among enthusiasts, has become an increasingly popular trend in Spain. Currently, reliable statistics showing overall market size, local production, exports and imports, are not available. However, industry experts note that with the current economic crisis, even more individuals are looking for tuning their car instead of purchasing a new one.
According to estimates made by the Barcelona Tuning Show, held last November, the annual turnover is projected to reach about 450 million Euros ($658 million), creating employment for 8,000 individuals.
Since the mid-1990s, car customization, or “tuning” as it is known among enthusiasts, has become an increasingly popular trend in Spain. The “tuning” subsector is heavily influenced by trends from the United States. As such, Spanish distributors and consumers of “tuning” accessories are interested in products from the United States—especially exhaust pipes, self-adhesive appliqués and lighting and signaling equipment (including light-emitting diodes, or LEDs)—based on their reputation for quality and reliability. In 2008, a delegation of 160 Spanish firms attended the AAIW SEMA Show in Las Vegas .
The SEMA Show, the largest aftermarket trade show in the U.S., is internationally renowned, especially in Spain, and offers the latest innovations in the automotive industry.
Currently, one third of Spain’s 24.6 million automobiles are more than 10 years old. With a large number of old automobiles in circulation, there is a growing need for properly-equipped auto shops that can meet the demand for repair and maintenance services.
The rapid and steady growth of the automotive and aftermarket sector in Spain, combined with the solid reputation of U.S. automotive repair and maintenance equipment, should enable U.S. manufacturers to maintain and improve their position within the local market. Projections indicate that imports of automotive and aftermarket products from the United States will grow 10 percent over the next three years as highly technical/computerized equipment (mainly diagnostic and electronic equipment) becomes a standard feature of repair shops.
Industry association representatives are optimistic about growth in the repair and maintenance equipment market. Emerging trends -the aging of existing automobiles, stricter enforcement of government technical inspections, new laws and structural changes aimed at market competition and consumption of new vehicles - will encourage market demand for auto repair and maintenance equipment making it one of the most attractive subsectors in the automotive industry. These factors are expected to stimulate an average annual growth of 10 to 15 percent in total market size in the next few years.