Retail level sales of products in the sport compact performance market niche of the U.S. automotive specialty equipment market were $1.5 billion U.S. for calendar year 2001, not $4.5 billion U.S. as stated in a news release sent out by another organization last week, says the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). SEMA reported the $1.5 billion figure, which represented 25% growth over the 2000 sales figure, at its 2002 International Auto Salon in April 2002. There were no statistics reported for the Canadian market. At that time, SEMA said that manufacturers were reporting unprecedented high sales for the first months of 2002, and forecast that the niche’s sales might increase as much as 50% during the year, to reach $2.25 billion U.S. for 2002. SEMA will issue its 2002 full-year compact performance market update at a media conference set for the 2003 International Auto Salon in the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, April 25, preceding the opening of the three-day show for the industry and consumer enthusiasts. “We anticipate reporting record sales of accessories and upgrades for this market, the most rapidly growing segment of our industry,” said Rosemarie Kitchin, SEMA director, consumer/public relations. “The total specialty equipment market for 2001 was $26 billion [U.S.], more than Americans spent on renting and buying DVDs, videos, and video games.” Kitchin said that the compact performance market is enjoying astounding growth because of the movement of young consumers to improve their vehicles in appearance, in performance, and in handling.