Desperate times call for desperate measures, it seems.
Some jobbers these days are getting regular calls from people they may not usually hear from looking for parts to repair customer vehicles, said industry experts. Namely, their competitors and automotive dealerships.
The supply chain has been compromised so much that dealers are turning to the aftermarket to send parts their way so they can take care of their customers, they noted.
In a presentation at this year’s AAPEX in Las Vegas, Nathan Shipley, executive director of The NPD Group, a market research company, noted that some of the strong demand for aftermarket products is coming from non-traditional sources, such as dealerships.
Nathan Shipley of The NPD Group speaks at AAPEX 2021
“I’ve talked to dealerships that say, ‘Look, I’ve got a Ford dealership, I’ve got a cash-paying customer in my bay. I don’t have the parts I need — the OE parts — to put on their car. So I’m calling the local auto parts store, which I would never do. I’m calling them to get it. Because I can either turn the customer away or I can call the store or the DC down the street,’” he said during his annual Retail and Aftermarket Outlook session during the week-long event.
“So all of a sudden we in this industry, we’ve got demand coming from non-traditional resources.”
This trend was noted by Bill Hay, president and chief operating officer at Bestbuy Distributors. He was speaking virtually during Student Aftermarket Day at Georgian College’s Automotive Business School on Nov. 18. In the keynote session entitled Disruptors, Opportunities and the Future of the Automotive Aftermarket, he noted that everyone is looking everywhere for parts.
“A lot of the supply chain right now is saying, ‘Hey, we’d love to sell you something, but we can’t even supply our existing customers right now. So we don’t have an opportunity to supply you right now with parts,” he told moderator J.F. Champagne, president of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.
Bill Hay from Bestbuy Distributors speaking at Student Aftermarket Day 2021
Shareholders within Bestbuy are turning to competitors to get parts when the distributor doesn’t have it, Hay noted. “And the competitors are also coming to our place to buy parts. That includes the dealership network. They’ve been struggling getting parts as well. And so everybody is going everywhere they can right now to try and find a source on a part for sure.”
A question Shipley raised in his presentation was how much longer demand from dealers would last. For now with the supply chain having issues, dealers are doing their part to keep aftermarket demand up. So the increase in sales jobbers are enjoying may fall back a bit once things normalize.
“So does that start to settle back down?” he asked.