Perspectives: 10+ Reasons to be Optimistic about the Aftermarket

Perspectives: 10+ Reasons to be Optimistic about the Aftermarket

While the headlines in the business section of your favorite news source are rarely uplifting and your service business is fluctuating from hot to cold on a daily and weekly basis, there is still an abundance of positive data to give you reason to be optimistic about the automotive aftermarket industry and your service and repair business.

While the headlines in the business section of your favorite news source are rarely uplifting and your service business is fluctuating from hot to cold on a daily and weekly basis, there is still an abundance of positive data to give you reason to be optimistic about the automotive aftermarket industry and your service and repair business.

1. The automotive aftermarket is a $224 billion industry — that is huge.

2. The aftermarket is growing at a 4.1% rate.

3. The value of the parts installed in the DIFM segment is a staggering $85 billion.

4. The 3 trillion miles driven each year fuels the aftermarket.

5. There are 240 million vehicles in operation, creating a steady demand for ­service work.

6. The average age of vehicles is currently 10.6 years and will continue to grow.

7. There are 180 million “older” vehicles (6 years and older) on the road.

8. Repair invoices are 55% higher on average for older vehicles.

9. The number of OEM dealerships has dropped by more than 3,000 since 2008, creating more opportunities for aftermarket shops.

10. OE dealerships have less than a 20% share of the DIFM business for older vehicles (and these have the highest average repair order).

Bonus reason:
11. The average posted labor rate for aftermarket shops is $18.50 lower than the labor rate at OEM dealerships.

There are many other industries that would love to have the “fundamental drivers” that benefit the automotive aftermarket. Have you spoken with anyone in the real estate, banking or construction industry lately? They are having some tough times that will hopefully take a turn for the better since they are also your customers.

Tough economic times cause a business manager to make a thorough examination of the business, which is a good thing. Take the time to do that now but, in the end, hang in there for the 11 reasons listed above.

The statistical data listed above came from the following sources:
AAIA 2011 Factbook – points 1, 2, 3
U.S. Department of Transportation – point 4
R.L. Polk – points 5, 6, 7
IMR Inc (www.AutomotiveResearch.com) – points 8, 10, 11
National Automotive Dealers Association
– point 9

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