Opinion | Commentary

  • The automotive DIY market has been declared to be dying for many years because vehicles are increasingly more difficult to repair due to technological advancements, plus, an aging population is not up to the labor task of facing vehicles. Even so, it appears that DIYers find ways to develop their skills and/or the aftermarket responds with feasible solutions to keep the DIY market viable.
  • Perhaps the largest consideration to effectively answer the question of "How do I know when to sell and when to grow?" is to know your timeline. The second largest consideration is to know your walk away price. When working with clients, whether we are growing their business or preparing them to sell, I always ask these two questions.
    Brad Mewes
  • While the automotive industry is thriving and continuing to grow, the aftermarket is in for a bit of a wait before it can reap the benefits.
  • Starting in model year 2019, the five-star rating will include a crash avoidance rating based on whether a vehicle offers any of the multiple technologies that will be added to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and whether the technologies meet NHTSA performance measures.
  • So some of these changes are moving in the right direction, by guiding shops to use parts-ordering systems to simplify parts procurement.
  • In tracking the 10-year global regional growth from 2004-2014 of passenger vehicles in operation (VIO), the Asia region took the top spot with growth of 9 percent from 2004 to 2014, according to the 2016 World Motor Vehicle Market Report. 
    Ben Brucato
  • The Highway funding bill the Congress passed in December contains a number of amendments affecting vehicle safety, some of them with aftermarket implications. Provisions focusing on recalls, rental car safety, whistleblowing, tire registration and other aspects will likely affect the aftermarket.
  • The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement President Obama negotiated with 11 countries has many potential ramifications on the auto distribution chain. Congress will vote on the TPP with no amendments allowed; but that won't happen before March 2016.
  • Getting the sale is important to anyone wishing to remain in business, but at what price? If you say “at all cost” the price is too much. I’m about to tell you why being a good service advisor or counterman will reap benefits that you never even thought possible.
  • Aftermarket Business World Columnist Larry Silvey discusses omni-channel markeitng as it applies to the automotive aftermarket in his column "Omni-channel marketing is the new normal." Here are a few of his key takeaways.
    Larry Silvey
  • Uber’s distinction has given rise to new businesses providing convenience and lower prices. For the automotive market, it is auto repair performed at home or at the office. 
  • Social media is an effective and low-cost means for automotive businesses of all kinds to increase their business, however, businesses have to concentrate on being creative with their content and be committed to it by making regular posts
  • Amazon is jumping into the logistics fray, which will be disruptive to many but could improve product delivery. 
  • Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is sponsoring the Ricky Benton Racing Team in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
    Advance Auto parts
  • As new technologies move driverless cars closer to reality, global carmakers have ramped up development and testing (along with non-traditional companies like Google’s Alphabet and Tesla), and roads and highways across Europe and Asia have opened for testing of driverless vehicles.
  • Inventory control solutions are somewhat simple but require cooperation of all the players, including shop management, painters, parts people and, most important, the jobber. The key to inventory control is to have materials when you need them in the quantity you need.
  • EDI – electronic data interchange – still deserves consideration by distributor/retailers and their supply chain partners as a way to reduce cost, improve strategic relationships and increase channel visibility.
    Scott Luckett
  • The movie Groundhog Day captures the technology challenge facing many auto parts wholesalers. Those 10-year-old business management solutions might have done a great job back in 2005, but the business has changed and so have the needs and expectations of customers and counter professionals.
    Scott Thompson, Epicor
  • With a drop in material and machine prices, advanced software integration and faster printing, 3-D printing could potentially revolutionize automotive production, supply chain and the aftermarket, Frost & Sullivan says.
    Frost & Sullivan
  • We don’t need to repeat how critical complete, accurate and graphical product content is in persuading the customer to click “buy.” But all of this wisdom is pointless unless the product information, inventory availability and customer-specific pricing is available in seconds for all of the products available for sale. That’s where the web services come in.
    Scott Luckett