Financial times are tough, no doubt. But we’re starting to see signs that America is on the road to an economic recovery. And E3 Spark Plugs is stoked to see one of those signs – a resurgence in custom car parts sales.
Throughout the recession, high-end custom car parts and extensive overhauls of vehicles by serious collectors and hobbyists slowed down. But another demographic picked up just a bit. Regular Joes itching for a new ride, but leery of spending the cash for one instead opted to dress up their cars and trucks with new custom parts – giving their rides a whole new feel for a lot less money.
Today, the $30 billion-a-year industry is getting back up to speed, according to reports from Southern California, the epicenter of America’s custom car parts business. With a catalog of 3,000 custom parts, Street Scene is one of the homegrown manufacturers seeing a surge in business. Owner Mike Spagnola started the company 13 years ago with five people and grew the workforce to more than 50. The recession forced a cut of more than half of his workers, but he’s steadily hiring them back over the past few months.
Street Scene’s recovery is one to watch. They’re among the top custom car parts providers that put new grilles, spoilers, rear view cameras and other game-changing features in show cars and trucks long before they hit the mass market. And they’re one of the trusted lock-and-key custom car parts makers that auto manufacturers like Chevrolet hire to trick out their new models with exclusive designed parts.
The custom car parts industry started in Southern California, borne of a handful of manufacturers looking for a way to make a living after having served the World War II effort. Decades later, it’s still contributing to the local and national economy thanks to auto enthusiasts like you.
As Spagnola recently told California media: “When we make a part, we’re not only employing jobs here, but we are employing outside manufacturers, so it might be a chrome shop, powder coating shop. We have to buy boxes, hire trucking companies to move the product, and so there’s a whole ripple effect that takes place when you’re manufacturing.”