A shrinking share of aftermarket replacement parts could have major consequences for the automotive aftermarket, a recent report warned.
There are four major groups of light vehicle aftermarket products: Replacement parts, accessories, chemicals, and tools and equipment. In 2016, replacement parts — those necessary for vehicle operation and subject to wear and tear — made up nearly two-thirds of aftermarket product volume in 2016, according to Lang Marketing.
However, the segment’s sales share fell to approximately 62 per cent by 2021, the group said in a recent Aftermarket iReport.
This diminishing share is concerning.
“First, the falling product growth and share of replacement parts make it more difficult for aftermarket participants to manage parts proliferation since replacement parts represent the vast majority of aftermarket products and are necessary for vehicle operation,” the report said. “They are slipping in market share, but they must be readily available to keep cars and light trucks on the road.”
It also observed that the changing share of aftermarket volume of the four major product segments is shifting product volume among distribution channels supplying the light vehicle aftermarket.
Furthermore, a reduction in replacement parts sales means a shift in consumer purchases from non-discretionary to discretionary.
“Consequently, the aftermarket is becoming more sensitive to economic changes and fluctuations in consumer income and purchase behaviour,” Lang Marketing said. “This makes the aftermarket less countercyclical to general economic conditions and less of a ‘recession-resistant’ industry.