The significant drop in kilometres driven is among the biggest concerns for the Canadian aftermarket, say analysts at DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC).
In their most recent report on the impact of the current public health emergency on the automotive industry, they said the drop in kilometres driven is one of the unique hallmarks of a pandemic.
“In regards to the current situation what is perhaps most striking for this downturn as opposed to previous ones from the aftermarket perspective is the sudden and unprecedented drop in kilometres driven,” analysts at DesRosier said.
Although current data on the amount of driving Canadians are doing is still sparse and imperfect, they’ve found evidence that it has collapsed from previous levels.
Google mobility data shows that as of April 30, mobility to workplaces was down 57% in Canada.
Factoring in other data, such as toll highway statistics and gas consumption, DAC predicts a 46-52% decline in kilometres driven in Canada in April – with a slow recovery in the subsequent months.
DAC plans to publish a detailed aftermarket outlook this summer, citing implications for warehouse distributors, parts manufacturers, and major retailers. The report will focus on specific market data and provide a full five-year forecast at a national and regional level.
“While our forecasts will undoubtedly be updated by then, the current baseline DAC model of aftermarket demand indicates that aftermarket demand will fall 11-13% this year,” analysts said. “The statistical scenarios in the model vary greatly, however, from a decline of 6-9% in the optimistic scenario, to a precipitous decline of 20-25% in a negative scenario under which a severe second wave of the virus stalls provincial economic re-openings.”
They said that one positive sign for recovery is the fact that in countries that have relaxed restrictions, privately owned vehicles seem to be the transportation of choice.
This pandemic will change driving habits for many people. Think about the future in that many businesses will have staff working from home to reduce their operating costs for brick and mortar properties. No commuting will have many rippling effects on the economy especially the auto service and repair sector. Nothing will be the same as it was and we need to be realistic and change our operations to suit these potential trends.
I couldn’t agree more, Bob. Thanks for weighing in.