Auto Service World
News   November 19, 2003   by Auto Service World

Import Rise Critical Issue for the Traditional Aftermarket

The rise in import market share at the car sales level will have an increasingly important impact on the traditional automotive aftermarket, says a leading researcher.
"If you want to be successful in the aftermarket, you had better get on the import market," says Dennis DesRosiers, DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
Speaking at the 8th Annual Automotive Forum presented by the Automotive Industries association of Canada, DesRosiers says that the continuing decline of "The Big Three" market share is predictable.
"It is very difficult to build a case for market share gains for the big three. For the near term they have issues that do not appear easy to solve,"–quality issues, resale value, others–plus there are capacity issues as domestic manufacturers close plants, while import manufacturers build new ones.
"Now how do you managed to sell a vehicle that you don’t build? When the big three close plants, and imports build plants, it is a pretty good indicator of where things are going to go in the future."
While the import share of the vehicle car park rises, the aftermarket continues to suffer form a lower market share of import service. While the traditional aftermarket can expect to get some 75% of the repair dollars from domestic vehicles over their life, this figure drops to 50% in import makes where car dealers retain a greater share of the post-showroom customer dollar.
"There are e a lot of aftermarket implications," says DesRosiers. "If you are tied to the domestic makes solely and your are not on the import side of the equation, you will be a loser." You may be able to steal market share and grow for a time, but inevitably you will urn up against the import market barrier.
"I would suspect that most people [in the traditional aftermarket] do not do that good a job with the import car dealer in terms of distributing to him or selling them.
"If you don’t have an import program in Quebec and B.C.," where the import sales are of highest proportion in Canada, "you have a problem."