Auto Service World
News   April 5, 2024   by Adam Malik

Jobber News Executive Outlook 2024: Zara Wishloff

Jobber News reached out to 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 2024 issue.

Zara Wishloff, President, CEO  |  Automotive Parts Distributors

I believe consumer spending will decline in 2024. The automotive aftermarket may witness a shift towards economy and value-driven product options. This adjustment is likely a response to the key year for mortgage renewals, where many Canadians will be grappling with substantial increases in their monthly payments. As households tighten their budgets, industry players may need to adapt to a market that prioritizes affordability over premium offerings.

The industry continues to see a trend toward mergers, coupled with a sense that some manufacturers might exit the marketplace. This evolution in the competitive landscape underscores the need for adaptability and strategic planning among jobbers and suppliers.

This year will bring the challenge of right-sizing our inventories and analyzing real demand. With the supply issues we experienced in the last 24 months, there was “artificial demand” in the marketplace. With shortages, many levels of the supply chain upped their inventory levels to have stock. This strategy paid off as even dealerships did not have product. Clients were buying inventory from any source available giving many aftermarket suppliers a boost in sales. As the supply chain normalizes, we need to analyze and adjust what was real and artificial demand and adjust our levels accordingly. Canada’s environmental regulations have also affected many chemicals. Proper solutions will need to be identified.

Average car prices are at an all-time high. The increased value of new and used vehicles makes the spend on parts and maintenance prudent. The ratios now make sense for investing in vehicles.

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