The good times of the automotive aftermarket have been well documented in recent times. But under the increased sales and continued growing sales, some challenges are still getting in the way of shops.
Particularly, parts supply is an issue facing the majority of shops as they face delays in getting what they need from their jobber.
Granted, the situation has improved, noted DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. More than two-thirds (67.3 per cent) of Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario members reported sourcing issues from jobbers. Even more (84.6 per cent) said they were having trouble sourcing parts from new vehicle dealers.
These are still “obviously troubling,” DesRosiers noted but an improvement from earlier this year. When polling AARO members earlier this year, 88.7 per cent reported issues from jobbers and 94.3 per cent had sourcing troubles from new car dealers.
Parts prices have also gone up, no matter from whom they’re being sourced. The bulk (55.8 per cent) of AARO members reported jobber prices up 6-10 per cent in the first half of this year — with another 32.7 per cent saying they’ve seen prices up more than 11 per cent.
When turning to dealers, fewer than half (48.1 per cent) said they’re seeing a 6-10 per cent increase while 38.5 per cent reported 11-plus per cent increases.
That said, sales are significantly up for shops. While 13.6 per cent said they’ve seen no change, 40.7 per cent said sales are up 1-10 per cent and another 35.6 per cent are seeing sales up more than 11 per cent.
Compared to pre-pandemic times, 71.2 per cent are seeing more sales. At the start of the year, about 52 per cent said their sales were up from before the pandmic started.
And the vast majority expect sales growth to carry through as 53.5 per cent see a sales increase of up to 10 per cent in 2023 compared to the year before — 29.3 expect sales to be up at least 11 per cent from 2022.
Finally, DesRosier asked about servicing electric and hybrid vehicles. A large majority (71 per cent) said they’ve serviced a plug-in hybrid while almost half (48 per cent) said they’ve had an electric roll into their shop.
“Impressive numbers considering that ZEVs constitute less than 2 per cent of the Canadian light vehicle fleet,” DesRosiers’ report commented.