This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Strategic Analysis of the North American Wiper Blade Aftermarket provides industry challenges, top market drivers and restraints, and unit shipment and revenue forecasts until 2016 for the total market and market sectors. It also presents the competitive structure, distribution channel analysis, and market shares of brands. In this research, Frost & Sullivan’s expert analysts thoroughly examine the following markets: conventional blade, beam blade, snow blade, and specialty blade.
Beam Blades Segment Emerge a Cut above the Average in the North American Wiper Blade Aftermarket
The impressive sales of the high-priced beam blades have given a huge boost to the total wiper blade aftermarket’s weighted average price. The beam blades segment’s dominance is evident from its revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2 percent, against the conventional blade segment’s 1.7 percent. The shift away from snow and conventional blades to the premium beam blades has increased the revenues per unit shipment in the overall market. Beam blades’ revenue share had increased from 20.9 percent in 2008 to 28.3 percent in 2009, while its unit shipment share had risen only by 5.7 percent during the same period. The increase in the prices of raw materials such as steel and rubber also allow the manufacturers to raise the prices of beam blades.
As the beam blades segment is expected to grow rapidly and consistently, participants are focusing on producing competitively priced beam blades with innovative designs. “Original equipment (OE) suppliers make unique wiper arms for new vehicles that require specific adapters to install them in the aftermarket,” says the analyst of this research. “Aftermarket manufacturers should focus on producing beam blades that come with connectors that are compatible with the OE part number, which will make them easy to install.” Beam blade manufacturers, acknowledging the need to stand apart, have been introducing inventive products such as designer style blades or Armor All silicone blades to keep pace with the changes at the OE level.
The changing product mix will also contribute significantly to the price hikes and thereby, revenue growth. Aftermarket participants’ endeavors will get a push with the increase in the number of vehicles in operation (VIO), which generates considerable blade replacement opportunities. The rising average age per vehicle also ramps up the demand for aftermarket wiper blades, as does the consistent rise in parts proliferation. Participants can extend the revenue advantage offered by these external factors by making active efforts to lower their expenses. “Offshore manufacturing and outsourcing of blades makes price the most competitive factor, particularly in the Canadian aftermarket,” notes the analyst. “In fact, private label brands, mostly manufactured by Asian companies, hold 61.2 percent of the Canadian aftermarket in revenues.”