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What’ Hot: Showroom Shine


While high gas prices throughout 2006 had consumers grumbling about the cost of driving their cars and trucks, the price of petrol didn’t discourage consumers from making sure their cars looked good.

That much is evident from looking at sales of products related to maintaining a vehicle’s appearance. Each year, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association compiles its Factbook, and the most recent version shows vehicle appearance products enjoyed solid sales growth in 2006 after suffering a slight decline in 2005. Last year, the overall market grew 6.3% to a total of $340 million, from $320 million the prior year.

So who were the biggest winners? Sales of waxes and polishes increased 7.9% last year to slightly more than $70 million while multiple purpose cleaners and degreasers grew 10.3% to $24.2 million and sales of leather care products grew 13.2% to $15 billion.

Gas prices may have consumers driving less and the Factbook indicates the average age of the American automobile also has increased, but at least when vehicles are parked in the garage they are looking good.

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