Jobber News reached out to several leaders in the supply and distribution segment of the automotive aftermarket and asked them what they see happening in the industry over the next 12 months, what will improve, what one challenge to the industry will be and what opportunities are out there for jobbers and suppliers alike. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…
You can view the full feature in our January 2023 issue.
Josh Gordon, President, CEO, Spectra Premium Mobility Solutions
This should be another dynamic year in the automotive aftermarket. Many of the underlying fundamentals remain strong — increasing miles driven, average vehicle age and vehicle population — pointing to continued demand for repair parts and services.
One important change compared to 2022 will be the high rate of borrowing. This has increased the cost of maintaining inventory to service customers as well as the financial expense associated with extended payment terms. This is changing the way suppliers evaluate aftermarket business opportunities.
Fiscal policy required to curb inflation could push the economy into recession. New vehicle sales are likely to be more impacted than repair parts and services. Vehicle owners may choose to repair instead of replace. In 2022, this behaviour played out in the absence of new vehicles due to chip shortages. If a recession hits in 2023, it may be due to economic necessity. If forced to tighten their belts, vehicle owners will also extend and defer maintenance, tempering demand. Suppliers able to provide cost-effective options to jobbers and resellers are better poised to support downstream users during a recession.
There are many new opportunities developing in the aftermarket. Although EV garners much of the media and strategic attention, demand for ICE vehicle parts and services will remain strong in 2023 and beyond. Suppliers can’t abandon their focus on the conventional car parc. Product development and marketing resources should be maintained in support of this important market segment and our downstream customers.
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