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Strategic Analysis of the 2012 North American Wiper Blade Aftermarket

  • July 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 92 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

Why Product Positioning is Essential to Growth

This research service analyzes the North American wiper blade aftermarket in 2012. It measures revenue for the United States and Canada at the manufacturer level. It analyzes key market drivers and restraints, revenue shares by product type, and revenue through each distribution channel. Market engineering measurements are also examined. A distribution channel structure is provided, along with technology and a product roadmap. The study concludes with the final word, three big predictions for the market. Market analysis is provided from the historical period spans 2009 to 2011. The forecast period spans 2013 to 2019, and the base year is 2012.

Key Findings

1. The North American wiper blade aftermarket is a mature market that is expected to maintain a healthy level of growth (X% CAGR) through 2019.
2. Key drivers for this market include the growing vehicle population, an increase in unit shipments, and growth in pricing that is driven by a continuous focus on product differentiation and a shift toward beam blades.
3. Historical data indicates a growth trend for consumer-facing channels specializing in sales for DIY installations. Auto retailers, mass merchandizers, and two-step distributors with retail locations are, therefore, expected to grow through 2019.
4. The nature of the market allows manufacturers the ability to successfully go to market with low-cost/high-volume sales strategies and sell high-cost products by leveraging brand recognition and product differentiation.
5. The key differentiator to success in this market is not the product positioning strategy itself but matching the strategy to the consumer purchasing characteristics that are common to a particular distribution channel and distributor.

Total Market Unit Shipment/Revenue Snapshot

•Market growth will be driven by the shift towards beam blades and growth in the vehicle population.
•The revenue peak in 2010 resulted from replacements deferred from 2008–2010 economic recession.
•The decline in 2012 was driven by unseasonably warm winters and a reduction in consumer maintenance expenditure.

Key Conclusions and Future Outlook

Market Status
Current: The market is mature, with a healthy level of competition and price growth. Demand in 2012 dropped compared with 2011 due to warm winter seasons and a reduction in consumer maintenance spending.
Future: Market growth is expected to be healthy, with a CAGR of X% driven by increases in unit shipments as well as pricing. The rate of growth year-over-year (YOY) is expected to slow as competition in growth segments increases.

Competition
Current: The market currently has a high degree of concentration, with X% of revenue being controlled by the top-three manufacturers. There is also a high level of private labelling in this market.
Future: Market concentration is expected to increase slightly through 2019, though brand expansion will be limited due to an increasing focus by distributors on private-label products.

Distribution
Current: There is a high degree of distribution concentration in this market, with the top three North American distributors controlling X% of the market.
Future: Distribution concentration is expected to continue through 2019, as manufacturers focus on large mass merchandisers and retailers.

Technology
Current: Beam and hybrid blades are gaining share in the aftermarket, due to OE installations on new vehicles, which generates a corresponding aftermarket demand.
Future: Aftermarket penetration of beam and hybrid blades is expected to continue through 2019, representing over half of total retail-level revenue.

Competitive Benchmarking

Brand Name
Rain-X
2012 Manufacturer-level Revenue
$X million
Dominant Channel
Auto retail
Product Value Proposition
Rain-X focuses solely on premium-quality conventional and beam blade wipers, emphasizing better performance, longevity, and durability.
Company Strengths
The company is well-positioned with major retailers and mass merchandisers, and is able to sell at a higher-than-average price due to consumer demand.
Company Weaknesses
The company’s high average price will diminish its value proposition against premium-quality private-label products.
Summary
Rain-X is expected to continue to gain share with premium products through 2019, with success due to brand reputation and product line expansion.

Brand Name
Trico
2012 Manufacturer-level Revenue
$X million
Dominant Channel
Auto retail
Product Value Proposition
Trico is able to provide national-brand quality while competing with private-label products on pricing. The company also features a broad product line to compete across multiple market segments.
Company Strengths
Trico manufactures private-label products for several distributors. This manufacturing volume allows Trico to price below competing private-label products.
Company Weaknesses
Trico is currently underperforming in the premium product segment, resulting in the company under-realizing its growth potential.
Summary
Trico will gain share through competition with private-label products.

Brand Name
Bosch
2012 Manufacturer-level Revenue
$Xmillion
Dominant Channel
Auto retail
Product Value Proposition
Bosch focuses on the premium beam blade segment, though the company also sells a wide range of conventional blades to address the needs of multiple market segments.
Company Strengths
Bosch has a strong presence in the original equipment service
(OES) channel, which supports revenue growth. The company also has a strong reputation for quality among various customer groups.
Company Weaknesses
Bosch is vulnerable to companies with a specialized focus on either premium or value products.
Summary
Bosch is expected to expand its value line and gain share though 2019.

Brand Name
ANCO
2012 Manufacturer-level Revenue
$X million
Dominant Channel
Auto retail
Product Value Proposition
ANCO builds share by targeting the value market for conventional and beam blades. The company competes across all product segments and channels for a broad-spectrum market presence.
Company Strengths
ANCO is well-positioned with the OES channel, and is highly successful in penetrating large distributor accounts.
Company Weaknesses
ANCO does not have the brand recognition or the presence in the premium product segment to benefit from the current growth trend toward premium beam blades.
Summary
ANCO’s share is expected to be challenged by private-label products among its largest distributors.

Key Questions This Study Will Answer

• What are the key external forces that will shape this market in the future?
• How should manufacturers position their products to generate revenue growth?
• What can the distribution structure of the market tell us about consumer purchasing behavior?
• Which product segments are expected to grow through 2018?
• Ultimately, does the future of this market represent a positive growth opportunity for manufacturers and distributors?

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