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Auto Care Demand Index provides product line insight

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 06:00
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The Auto Care Association (ACA) has launched a new Demand Index, which will help aftermarket companies view product category performance trends, including monthly demand of automotive aftermarket product lines in the United States.

According to the ACA, the data can provide insight into how companies are performing against the market, and an accurate view of potential product opportunities to enable strategic decision making.

The Demand Index is housed within Auto Care Association’s new platform for interactive data, the Auto Care TrendLens. According to ACA, TrendLens will expand in the near future to include data and trend information focused on providing additional data and insights.

“At the Auto Care Association, we focus on delivering value to our members, and one big need they have is for data and insight,” says Behzad Rassuli, senior vice president, strategic development, Auto Care Association. “We have traditionally published that type of information, but what we hear from members is that while that data is useful, it is static because it is in a printed report.”

Rassuli says the organization has invested in creating a market intelligence analytics platform so that ACA can provide dynamic market data in a digital platform that is interactive. The result was TrendLens.

“We then identified a major gap in data in our industry around hard part product line performance,” Rassuli says. “For years, the industry has been without visibility into how hard part products are performing, in the category management arena specifically. We invested time and money to get our retailer and wholesaler member to provide point of sale data on hard part products.”

The Demand Index then aggregates that data and reports it back to those members and other manufacturers. “We worked with our members to come to an understanding that there is a collective benefit for everyone to report that data, that they otherwise might be hesitant to expose,” Rassuli says. “

The Demand Index is based on anonymized, unit-level point-of-sale (POS) transaction data for 15 product lines from a “comprehensive list of retail and commercial distribution businesses representing more than 80 percent of hard parts transactions,” according to ACA. Users can view custom date ranges of data, examine points by hovering with their cursor, overlay categories, export or securely import data to compare with their own business performance figures.

Product lines currently covered in the Demand Index include:

  • Brake Calipers
  • Brake Friction (Pads and Shoes)
  • Brake Steel (Drums and Rotors)
  • Charging Systems
  • Chassis Suspension
  • Engine Management Sensors
  • Fuel Pumps
  • Gaskets
  • Hoses and Belts
  • Ignition Components
  • Radiators
  • Ride Control Suspension
  • Starting Systems 
  • Water Pumps
  • Wheel Bearings and Seals

The ACA worked with leading retailers and distributors to get the POS data needed to generate the information in the index, including Advance Auto Parts, the Alliance, the Automotive Distribution Network, AutoZone, Bridgestone, Federated Auto Parts, NAPA, Pronto, O’Reilly and Pep Boys.

“They send us the POS transaction data, and we normalize and anonymize that data,” Rassuli says. “It shows users of the tool on a monthly basis whether a product category has gone up or down, and by what percentage.”

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