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Automotive Aftermarket: Latest Industry Statistics and Trends

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The Automotive Aftermarket Industry

The automotive aftermarket is the secondary market of the automotive industry. The aftermarket covers all parts and services purchased for light and heavy duty vehicles after the original sale, including replacement parts, accessories, lubricants, appearance products and service repairs.

Continental, Bosch, Magna, Denso, Hundai Mobis, Bridgestone, and Michelin are some of the largest global automotive parts and service suppliers. Of these, the “Bosch” repair-shop franchise is one of the world’s largest independent chains of repair-shops, with about 16,500 franchises.

Key Market Segments

The aftermarket business can be grouped into three different categories:

Maintenance and Repair: batteries, automotive lighting, battery accessories, body repair, electrical, filters, light-duty shop equipment, spark plugs, tape and wipers.

Accessories and Appearance: air fresheners, appearance accessories, appearance chemicals, cargo management, exterior accessories, interior accessories, paint/coatings, tire and wheel accessories, towing and hitch.

Chemicals, Additives and Fluids: antifreeze / coolants, fluid management accessories, greases/lubes, hand care, motor oil, performance chemicals, refrigerants and accessories, sealants/adhesives/compounds, transmission fluids and washer fluids.

Although the vehicle aftermarket is highly fragmented, there are two main channels—the authorized and the independent.

The authorized channel consists of vehicle manufacturers (VMs) and their dealer networks and repair shops. Some of these are authorized to service a single brand while others service multiple brands.

The independent channel consists of service providers that have no contractual ties to any VM. They often collaborate with other independent providers to form purchasing networks, which buy in volume to secure better prices on wholesale parts sold by independent distributors.

Independent retail service providers can be classified into three types: (1) franchises that offer a full range of services and are part of a dealer network or franchise system; (2) automotive centers and “fast fitters,” i.e., repair shops with standardized and often limited service offers that frequently include parts; and (3) “corner” repair shops that offer a full range of services and function completely independently. 

Regional Market Shares

The main regional segments for the global automotive aftermarket include Europe, the U.S., and Asia.

Europe:  This region is the world's largest vehicle aftermarket, accounting for around €230 billion in parts alone, according to Verdict Retail. Maintenance parts such as tires and lighting, and electronic parts are the main product types in this business across Europe. Future growth across the region is expected to be driven by expanding vehicle ownership in Eastern Europe, led by Russia and Poland. In Western Europe increased maintenance and repairs for ageing automobiles are likely to provide opportunities. This pattern is expected to  support growth to €249 billion for parts over the next few years; market value in the UK is expected to rise to €33 billion and in Germany to €45 billion.

The US: The automotive aftermarket business in the US is a $247 billion industry. The largest product categories are mechanical products, which include engine hard parts, chassis and drive train, and suspension parts and components. Aging vehicles are expected to generate revenue for the industry, which is expected to grow to $273 billion within the foreseeable future.

ASEAN: The ASEAN Automotive Aftermarket is driven by growing demand for general automotive repairs and transmission repairs such as starters and alternators, brake services, lubricants tires, filters, and batteries. Other factors propelling growth in this industry is the cost of the automotive aftermarket parts which is lower than for original parts, and  consumer preference for customized exterior and interior components and accessories. Together these are expected to drive the market to $37.7 billion in the next few years.

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