Sean Brown, managing director of UK importer Brown and Geeson, says the downturn is driven by changing fashions, but says better factory-fitted equipment on modern cars and cheap imports have also had a negative effect on sales.
For Momo, the effects have been most marked in its steering wheel range. With airbags now fitted to almost all modern cars, changing the factory wheel is more difficult and removes a safety feature from the car.
With the market changing, Momo is investing heavily in its range of alloy road wheels, an area now seeing healthy and increasing sales due to consumers replacing marked factory fitted wheels after around three years. The manufacturer is also pushing its performance and motorsport credentials, entering a Momo liveried two-car team into this year’s Elf Renault Clio Cup.
“Within the core enthusiast sector, we are seeing a return to the more established tuning interest of the ’70s and ’80s, and a corresponding revival in motorsport interest,” Brown says.
“And there is definitely a greater discrimination in terms of brand image, and simply what’s cool and what’s not.
“Momo’s consistent motor racing presence really helps anchor the brand’s value in the current market conditions.
“It’s a tough market, and we’re treading water, but the flood of cheap copies has gone and people want the big names.”