Posted: October 17, 2014
2014 Lucas Oil Off Road Expo
Off-road truck and Jeep accessories continue to grow in popularityBy Dan Sanchez
More than 67,000 off-road fans were drawn to the 2014 Lucas Oil Off-Road expo held in Pomona October 4th and 5th. For retailers looking to see what's hot in the off-road market, the expo provided 325 manufacturers of off-road related products, most of which are designed for Jeeps and pickup trucks. “The weekend was packed with off-road enthusiasts from all over the country and we are thrilled with the increased fan and exhibitor turnout this year,” said Off-Road Expo Marketing Manager Jessica Kirchner. “Both attendees and exhibitors were extremely pleased with this year’s event and we’re all looking forward to next year’s expo, set to take place October 3 and 4, 2015.”
Among some of the more popular products at the expo that can appeal to the truck accessory retailer were LED lighting, truck steps, front and rear heavy-duty bumpers, new wheel styles, and lift/leveling systems. While there were plenty of lifted pickups of all makes and models, the most prevalent Jeep in the entire 10 acres of the show were JK Wranglers. "The four-door JK Wrangler has appealed to even more of the market as consumers are looking to use these vehicles as everyday transportation not just off road," says James Stanford, Product Marketing Manager At Lund International. The growth in accessories for the Jeep Wrangler market was evident all over the expo. But not all of the products were designed for the hardcore enthusiast. "As the Jeep market continues to grow, Jeep owners are most likely to make changes to stock options," says Bob West, Executive VP at Westin.
While the expo does carry a certain West Coast culture to it, the overall market is strong and isn't showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. With enthusiasts taking advantage of show deals and marked-down specials at the expo, it's evident that truck accessory retailers who are willing to venture into the Jeep and off-road products, can be very successful in moving products that are continuing to grow in popularity.
Old trucks like this classic Chevy C-10 was turned into an awesome race truck. An example of the skill and ingenuity of hardcore off-road enthusiasts that keep this market hot.
Manufactuers such as Daystar showcase a Jeep JK Wrangler with the company's new hood vents. The Jeep is also outfitted with a host of other products including an OR-Fab Stinger front winch bumper.
Wheels and tires are one of the biggest components to the off-road market. Manufacturers like Mickey Thompson are popular because they cater to both the hardcore rock crawler and daily driven vehicles.
Manufacturers like ReadyLift are not necessarily making product for Baja desert racers. But the interest in raising and levelling the ride height of a street pickup truck makes their products good sellers with truck accessory retailers.
Roadwire jumped into the Jeep market with a completely new top that opens and closes with the touch of a button. This fills a need for the growing number of Jeep owners who want convenience from their off-road vehicle.
The biggest name in off-road racing is SCORE and the Baja 1000 race. SCORE has a big showing at the Off-Road Expo and the section always draws a crowd with personalities and race drivers who stop by to sign autographs and talk with enthusiasts.
Big impressive trucks like this Toyota Tundra draw a crowd and demonstrates the popularity of this growing market segment.
For those who have never driven off-road, the Expo had ride and drive experiences allowing passengers to experience crawling over a variety of rough terrain.