ROCHESTER, Mich. — Being able to accessorize a vehicle influenced 12 percent of all vehicles sold, according to a new study conducted by Foresight Research. The research firm’s “2011 Automotive Accessory Market Report” also noted that consumer interest in accessorizing their vehicle isn’t simply regulated to SUVs and trucks.

Availability of accessories at the dealership also was key among the 7,459 new-car buyers interviewed for the study. In fact, 23 percent said the availability of accessories was influential when selecting a dealer from which to purchase a vehicle. However, the Michigan-based research firm’s report findings showed that only 39 percent of salespeople made an effort to sell accessories, while less than half of dealers had accessorized vehicles on display.

"The auto industry intuitively knows that accessories are important on pick-up trucks and sport utility vehicles, however, it's surprising to see the dramatic influence that accessories have across the board on all vehicle types," said Steve Bruyn, CEO of Foresight Research.  "Yet, despite the strong consumer support and desire for accessories, our research shows that dealers currently under serve the market and are therefore missing out on huge sales and revenue opportunities."

The report also found that 44 percent of all buyers spent at least $250 on accessories and intended to spend a total of $1,810 on accessories. Average accessory dollars spent and intended to be spent per new vehicle sold amounted to $815.

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