Archive for the ‘Industry Trends & Reports’ Category


Survey Finds Drivers Still Love Convertible Tops

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on January 11th, 2017

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Mercedes-Benz convertible

Not so long ago industry insiders were warning that convertible vehicles were a dying breed — but not anymore. In recent years, open-air vehicles have seen an extraordinary resurgence, with automakers manufacturing more soft-top models and Haartz Corporation continuing to develop fabric technology.

Car drivers have also reaffirmed their love for convertible vehicles. In fact, a recent consumer opinion survey conducted by Haartz found that key demographics prefer convertible soft tops over fixed roofs, and that 90% of convertible owners drive their cars year round.

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2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook: Upholstery

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on September 28th, 2016

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Sewing Tuck n Roll

Every year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an “Occupational Outlook Handbook” for nearly every profession in the United States. This year’s handbook provides some interesting insight on the health of the auto upholstery industry.

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What Killed the Front Bench Seat?

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on June 10th, 2016

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Front Bench Seat

In 2011, we published an article lamenting the imminent death of the front bench seat. Three years later the Chevrolet Impala, the last U.S. sedan with a front bench seat, was redesigned with two front buckets and no bench option. Jalopnik recently published an article explaining why the classic seat is no more. It’s a must-read for all automotive history buffs.

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Survey Highlights In-Demand Car Features

Published by Naseem Muaddi on December 3rd, 2015

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Alea Leather Seat Covers

Today, more than ever before, new car buyers are willing to spend extra cash to improve and upgrade their vehicle interiors. In fact, a new survey by research and consulting firm AutoPacifica shows that of the 10 most in-demand car features, five are interior related and the top two are seat specific.

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Relax, the Leather Industry is Not Dying

Published by Naseem Muaddi on October 1st, 2015

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Leather Hides

Despite endless industry chatter about leather alternatives and bio-based fabrics, demand for hides shows no signs of letting up. In fact, it’s growing.

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Drivers Can’t Tell Leather Apart from Leatherette

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on August 25th, 2015

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - JD Power & Associates

As auto upholsterers, we can easily tell the difference between genuine leather and synthetic leather, which automakers often call “leatherette.” However, a new report by J.D. Power & Associates reveals that a lot of car owners can’t.

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Lines Blur When Affordable Cars Go Luxury

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on June 2nd, 2015

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - 2015 Volvo XC90 Crystal Shifter

While speaking at the 2015 WardsAuto Interiors Conference last month in Dearborn, Michigan, Adam Bernard of General Motors addressed the auto industry’s changing perception of luxury interiors.

His comments provided insight on a trend that auto upholsterers have long noticed: Affordable cars are increasingly being manufactured with higher-quality materials – especially on the inside – blurring the line between what was once considered luxury and what is now stock.

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Get Ready for Recaro to Take Over the World

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on March 24th, 2015

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Recaro Seats

Remember when Recaro was a brand of aftermarket car seat that was only known in racing circles? Well, that’s not the case any more. Over the last 10 years, the company has grown to become a household name, and its products are now featured in a range of straight-from-the-factory vehicles — some of which aren’t even legit sports cars.

The Detroit News recently published an interesting article that examines Recaro‘s rise in popularity and sheds light on its plans for the future. It’s a piece every auto upholsterer should read, especially since customizing and repairing these seats will soon be commonplace (if it isn’t already).

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The Impending Death of Convertible Hardtops

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on November 28th, 2014

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Convertible Hardtop

We’ve written extensively about America’s waning interest in convertible tops — a trend that doesn’t appear to be reversing any time soon. But as automakers manufacture less and less convertible models, there does appear to be a bit of good news: The fad of hardtop convertibles is quickly dying, making way for a resurgence of soft-top convertibles.

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Interview: Haartz Talks Knockoff Convertible Tops

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on September 29th, 2014

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Haartz Corporation

The trend of customers buying subpar convertible tops online and asking auto upholstery shops to install them is a problem we’ve discussed in great length on The Hog Ring. It decreases our sales, disrupts our workflow and – when the product inevitably fails – damages our reputations.

Fortunately, we’re not alone in the fight against inferior-quality products. Haartz Corporation, the auto industry’s leading manufacturer of convertible topping material, has launched a campaign to educate the public on the benefits of having professional auto trimmers install convertible tops – manufactured using quality Haartz material – on their cars.

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