According to the “Automotive Aftermarket Status Report 2009,” the annual market analysis and research report recently released by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the rate of unperformed and underperformed maintenance in the U.S. dropped from $55 billion in 2007 to $50 billion in 2008.
Steve Handschuh, president and COO of AASA noted that, “The safety implications of the large number of under-maintained vehicles on the road are an enormous concern of the automotive aftermarket. While some neglected maintenance will only lead to more costly repairs later, others have a direct relationship to the safety and drivability of the vehicle,” he said.
“Unperformed and underperformed maintenance also represent a significant portion of the potential market for automotive aftermarket products, which we designate in our ‘Status Report’ as the Untapped Market,” Handschuh added. “This untapped market represents 21 percent of total aftermarket potential.”
To a large extent the paradoxical drop in unperformed and underperformed maintenance in an economic downturn was due to consumers’ curtailing travel due to high fuel prices. Unperformed maintenance is the difference between actual aftermarket activity and the potential size of the aftermarket. The drop in vehicle miles of travel in 2008 decreased the overall potential while at the same time, consumers attempted to protect their investment in their vehicles and improve fuel economy with better vehicle maintenance.
The 2009 outlook is not much brighter, according to AASA’s “Status Report.” Many U.S. households have experienced unemployment this year, which severely impacts the family budget.
“Our research indicates, however, that these consumers will find funds to keep the old car running until their job situation improves,” Handschuh said. “They can ill-afford either the loss of their transportation or the purchase of another car.”
The Untapped Market (billions)
Source: AASA Automotive Aftermarket Status Report
For more information, log onto www.aftermarketsuppliers.org.