Consumers Spending More to Keep Aging Vehicles on the Road

Consumers Spending More to Keep Aging Vehicles on the Road
Americans purchased about 3 million fewer cars in 2008 than they did the previous year, and according to a study by The NPD Group, consumers are starting to spend more on parts and repairs to keep the older vehicles they have on the road longer.
While NPD’s Automotive Aftermarket Industry Monitor (AAIM), which tracks retail and commercial sales at the point-of-sale for over 18,000 auto parts stores in the U.S., shows total unit volume of application parts flat for the first quarter of 2009 versus year-ago, several aftermarket parts categories showed meaningful increases.
The report identified the top five parts growth categories in the first quarter as wiper components, auto batteries, suspension parts, driveline products and electrical components.
According to the AAIM point-of-sale data for the quarter ending March 2009, growth in unit volume reflects an actual increase in transactions and indicates consumers are getting in the garage or visiting their car care professionals. In addition to growth in unit volume, the aftermarket saw healthy first-quarter dollar volume increases. Dollar volume of application parts for the first quarter of 2009 was up 6.3 percent versus year-ago.
Replacement application parts categories grew significantly in northeastern markets like Boston, Hartford, and Detroit. Florida markets including Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville, which experienced record drought conditions a year ago, led strong windshield wiper component sales growth during the first quarter.
“The conventional wisdom in the auto aftermarket is that it is only a matter of time before sales of replacement parts for these aging cars will begin to provide a lift to total aftermarket spending,” says David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD’s auto unit. “It now appears that consumers are recognizing that they will need to spend more on service and repairs to keep their vehicles on the road longer.”
In a recent NPD survey, which was presented at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in May, consumers were asked whether they agreed with this statement: “In an effort to keep my vehicle on the road longer, I will spend more on service and repair.” Fifty-eight percent said they agreed or strongly agreed with that statement.
While the first quarter numbers are encouraging, Portalatin cautions that the months ahead may be less encouraging.
“The two factors that contribute most to demand for automotive products and services are the number of vehicles on the road and how far those vehicles drive,” he says. “It is possible neither of these factors will increase in 2009. So while aging vehicles may give a short-term boost to parts sales, future demand growth may be more difficult to generate. In addition, many consumers are still trying to cut back on spending by deferring vehicle maintenance and repair as much as they can.”
(Source: The NPD Group, 06/16/09)Consumers Spending More to Keep Aging Vehicles on the Road
Americans purchased about 3 million fewer cars in 2008 than they did the previous year, and according to a study by The NPD Group, consumers are starting to spend more on parts and repairs to keep the older vehicles they have on the road longer.
While NPD’s Automotive Aftermarket Industry Monitor (AAIM), which tracks retail and commercial sales at the point-of-sale for over 18,000 auto parts stores in the U.S., shows total unit volume of application parts flat for the first quarter of 2009 versus year-ago, several aftermarket parts categories showed meaningful increases.
The report identified the top five parts growth categories in the first quarter as wiper components, auto batteries, suspension parts, driveline products and electrical components.
According to the AAIM point-of-sale data for the quarter ending March 2009, growth in unit volume reflects an actual increase in transactions and indicates consumers are getting in the garage or visiting their car care professionals. In addition to growth in unit volume, the aftermarket saw healthy first-quarter dollar volume increases. Dollar volume of application parts for the first quarter of 2009 was up 6.3 percent versus year-ago.
Replacement application parts categories grew significantly in northeastern markets like Boston, Hartford, and Detroit. Florida markets including Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville, which experienced record drought conditions a year ago, led strong windshield wiper component sales growth during the first quarter.
“The conventional wisdom in the auto aftermarket is that it is only a matter of time before sales of replacement parts for these aging cars will begin to provide a lift to total aftermarket spending,” says David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD’s auto unit. “It now appears that consumers are recognizing that they will need to spend more on service and repairs to keep their vehicles on the road longer.”
In a recent NPD survey, which was presented at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in May, consumers were asked whether they agreed with this statement: “In an effort to keep my vehicle on the road longer, I will spend more on service and repair.” Fifty-eight percent said they agreed or strongly agreed with that statement.
While the first quarter numbers are encouraging, Portalatin cautions that the months ahead may be less encouraging.
“The two factors that contribute most to demand for automotive products and services are the number of vehicles on the road and how far those vehicles drive,” he says. “It is possible neither of these factors will increase in 2009. So while aging vehicles may give a short-term boost to parts sales, future demand growth may be more difficult to generate. In addition, many consumers are still trying to cut back on spending by deferring vehicle maintenance and repair as much as they can.”
(Source: The NPD Group,FROM OUR FRIEND 06/16/09)
THIS HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR SERVICE DEPARTMENT MARKETING, USED CARS AND NEW CAR SALES. CONTRIBUTED BY OUR FRIEND JERRY LENZ AT CLEAR CHANNEL ORLANDO:
Consumers Spending More to Keep Aging Vehicles on the Road
Americans purchased abut o3 million fewer cars in 2008 than they did the previous year, and according to a study by The NPD Group, consumers are starting to spend more on parts and repairs to keep the older vehicles they have on the road longer.
While NPD’s Automotive Aftermarket Industry Monitor (AAIM), which tracks retail and commercial sales at the point-of-sale for over 18,000 auto parts stores in the U.S., shows total unit volume of application parts flat for the first quarter of 2009 versus year-ago, several aftermarket parts categories showed meaningful increases.
The report identified the top five parts growth categories in the first quarter as wiper components, auto batteries, suspension parts, driveline products and electrical components.
According to the AAIM point-of-sale data for the quarter ending March 2009, growth in unit volume reflects an actual increase in transactions and indicates consumers are getting in the garage or visiting their car care professionals. In addition to growth in unit volume, the aftermarket saw healthy first-quarter dollar volume increases. Dollar volume of application parts for the first quarter of 2009 was up 6.3 percent versus year-ago.
Replacement application parts categories grew significantly in northeastern markets like Boston, Hartford, and Detroit. Florida markets including Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville, which experienced record drought conditions a year ago, led strong windshield wiper component sales growth during the first quarter.
“The conventional wisdom in the auto aftermarket is that it is only a matter of time before sales of replacement parts for these aging cars will begin to provide a lift to total aftermarket spending,” says David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD’s auto unit. “It now appears that consumers are recognizing that they will need to spend more on service and repairs to keep their vehicles on the road longer.”
In a recent NPD survey, which was presented at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in May, consumers were asked whether they agreed with this statement: “In an effort to keep my vehicle on the road longer, I will spend more on service and repair.” Fifty-eight percent said they agreed or strongly agreed with that statement.
While the first quarter numbers are encouraging, Portalatin cautions that the months ahead may be less encouraging.
“The two factors that contribute most to demand for automotive products and services are the number of vehicles on the road and how far those vehicles drive,” he says. “It is possible neither of these factors will increase in 2009. So while aging vehicles may give a short-term boost to parts sales, future demand growth may be more difficult to generate. In addition, many consumers are still trying to cut back on spending by deferring vehicle maintenance and repair as much as they can.”
(Source: The NPD Group, 06/16/09)
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