Auto Service World
News   February 10, 2023   by Adam Malik

How DIFM has surged in the U.S.

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After being hit hard during the pandemic, do-it-for-me services in the U.S. saw a big-time rebound at levels never seen before, according to new research.

Lang Marketing reported that the parts and labour volume of the DIFM light vehicle market jumped by US$30 billion in 2021 and 2022. That marks the biggest surge ever recorded by this market in the U.S.

“It reflects the strength of the DIFM market and the pent-up demand for aftermarket parts and labour following the onslaught of COVID-19, which blasted a double-digit decline across the 2020 DIFM market,” the group noted in a recent Aftermarket iReport.

But the good news wasn’t spread evenly throughout the aftermarket. There were winners and losers, Lang pointed out. Four outlet groups made up more than 85 per cent of the volume surge: repair specialists, vehicle dealers, service stations and garages and foreign specialists.

The biggest chunk (29 per cent) was taken by repair specialists, those focused on a limited array of vehicle repairs. “Most of this gain was the result of repair specialists expanding their repair scope, coupled with their growing foreign nameplate repair,” Lang reported.

Dealers were just behind, raking in a quarter of the pot. Specifically, however, foreign nameplate dealers were the ones that generated most of the repair growth in this group.

Service stations and garages, despite diminishing population, took in 17 per cent of the growth and foreign repair specialists got 16 per cent of the increase.

Tire stores (8 per cent) discount stores/mass merchandisers (5 per cent) made comparatively modest gains. However, auto parts stores saw DIFM sales remain flat over the last two years.

When broken down by parts and labour, light truck and car parts made up about 47 per cent of the $30 billion volume increase, leaving 53 per cent of that number to be made up by labour.

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