Auto Service World
News   June 16, 2023   by Adam Malik

How much the U.S. aftermarket outperformed expectations

2024 Factbook also highlights the Canadian aftermarket is approaching pre-pandemic level retail sales

A new joint report out of the United States shows the automotive aftermarket growing faster than expectations — with continued strong growth to come.

Against a forecast of 8.5 per cent, the Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, in partnership with S&P Global, reported growth of 9.7 per cent in 2022.

The number is part of the 2023 Joint Channel Forecast Model report, which provides insights and guidance for the industry. It’s all included in this year’s Auto Care Factbook.

“This year’s report finds that despite the recent increase in economic strain for many Americans due to rising costs, the industry continues to show its reliability and ability to adapt across the service and retail sectors, continually adjusting to meet demand in an ever-dynamic market,” the announcement from the Auto Care Association said.

The industry will continue to be an attractive one to investors, it noted. Thanks to persisting high inflation, the aftermarket is expected to grow an additional 8.1 per cent this year before eventually settling to more modest — but still substantial — growth rates.

The full Factbook, available to members of the Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, also highlights the Canadian market. Retail sales were up, it reported, 5.2 per cent in 2022. Combined with small gains made in 2021 (0.8 per cent), most losses from 2020 caused by the pandemic (-6.1 per cent) have regained.

It also noted that while the number of wholesalers has declined, parts and accessories retailers and vehicle repair shops have increased year-over-year.

It also noted that the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra make up the top three passenger car sales while the Ford F-Series, RAM Pickup and Toyota Rav4 are the top-selling light trucks.

The report also highlights the following key topics:

  • Market size projections in billions of dollars through 2026, along with year-over-year percent change;
  • Sales dollars and market share for the retail, service, and dealer channels;
  • Key economic projections through 2026 such as GDP, consumer price index, and the CPI for Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair;
  • Forecasts for motor vehicle sales through 2026; and
  • Detailed factors influencing the growth in the aftermarket

“Consistency, reliability and adaptability — that’s what the motoring public have come to expect from the auto care industry over the years, but especially in more recent times with many Americans facing the very real rise in their cost of living,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of Auto Care Association. “The latest Joint Channel Forecast Model demonstrates this reality with the latest market figures surpassing expectations yet again.”

Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, highlighted the “impressive outlook” on tap for the industry.

“The automotive aftermarket continues to prove that it can succeed on two fronts: The longstanding production and manufacturing that gives the aftermarket its strong foundation and the innovation and entrepreneurship that are required with the bourgeoning technology changes and opportunities in transportation,” he added in a statement.

The announcement also highlighted tailwinds for the aftermarket, such as an aging car parc even as new vehicle supplies slowly replenish but high prices push owners to hang on to their vehicles longer.

“These factors have provided tailwinds to the automotive aftermarket as vehicle miles travelled have returned to pre-pandemic levels,” the announcement said.

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