Industry analysis reports Asian vehicle population to overtake domestics

Tire dealers are in a solid position to grow as multi-service providers

Dublin, Ireland—Research and Markets’ new report, “Strategic Overview of United States Automotive Aftermarket Maintenance and Repair Service Channels,” states service channels will evolve from 2015 to 2021 as small repair shops close and are replaced by franchised chains and mass merchants. Overall growth will be driven by an increasing average vehicle age. However, shops capable of repairing and maintaining foreign nameplate vehicles will enjoy higher growth than those specializing in domestic brands as the vehicle population shifts in favor of Asian automobiles.

The analysis gives a forecast for service centers by type, vehicles in operation by nameplate, and total automotive parts stores, as well as insights into consumer behavior and key conclusions.

Other report findings are as follows:

  • The number of domestic nameplate vehicles to remain stable or decline slightly in the coming years, suggesting reduced demand.
  • Total Honda, Toyota, Hyundai/Kia, and Mazda nameplates to grow several times faster than for domestic brands, enhancing demand for technicians to service those brands.
  • Increased specialization of service providers will occur. Tire dealers are in a solid position to grow as multi-service providers.
  • Automobile dealerships in the original equipment supplier (OES) channel will add more aftermarket parts to their service departments to offer lower-priced maintenance to owners of post-warranty vehicles. Some, such as Ford and Volkswagen, will also expand the number of quick-lube lanes at their dealer sites.
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) activity to continue declining over the medium-to-long term as vehicle architectures evolve and fewer consumers have experience performing routine maintenance.
  • Oil change intervals to lengthen due to increased use of synthetic lubricants and premium filters. This will increase the importance of each job to the service repair industry. Skilled labor shortage will intensify in the coming years.
  • Technician training remains an ongoing challenge for many service providers. Most of the continuing education available to installers is offered by manufacturers to garages that install the company's parts, but additional industry resources are needed. Installation of private-label brands by independent repair facilities will increase.
  • The expansion of auto parts retailers selling discounted, private-label brands to independent repair facilities results in the closure of traditional jobbers selling brands from manufacturers.
  • The number of service bays has declined over the past decade, while the vehicle population has continued to grow.
  • Technicians will increasingly use mobile technologies, such as tablets and apps, to receive training and instruction, with a goal of reducing service bay downtime and maximizing the number of vehicles repaired.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.