Business conditions in the global automotive aftermarket are good, according to the leading suppliers exporting their products into international markets.
Each quarter, the Overseas Automotive Council (OAC) of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) surveys its North American supplier members about worldwide business conditions. These surveys reflect OAC members’ viewpoints and observations from their business perspectives.
In April, OAC survey respondents reported that overall business conditions in the global marketplace are good. While OAC members are positive about global markets, many report that they are tracking the impact of the strong U.S. dollar on exports. As one member noted, “The global currency environment is impacting business due to strong U.S. dollar.”
Here are a few of the comments regarding specific markets:
Saudi Arabia/Middle East:
· “Last year was beyond our estimate. We’re cautious this year, but YTD has been equal to last year. We expect to double our visits this year and introduce new products.”
· “The Middle East is always an area that has volatility due to the political and economic situations. In spite of the volatility, the region thrives and the demand for North American Products are constant and growing.”
Latin America (South America, Dominican Republic, Colombia)
· “Fleets increasingly are taking a mentality towards better maintenance practices and incorporation of elements of very good quality interventions assets, as the need to have in their facilities staff members that are highly qualified for maintenance; this opens up a new opportunity for manufacturers to focus on technology and quality, not just price.”
· “The automotive segment in Colombia is in continuous expansion especially because the government has started to focus more on vehicle scrapping.”
· “The heavy duty segment continues to grow year-over-year. However, the main players continue to push towards price decrease – this opens the opportunity to focus on products that helps optimize the operation.”
Mexico: “All indicators are up. Increasing prospective customers.” “We have seen good sales increases.”
Asia Pacific: “A promising region.”
In addition to currency rates, diversity in regional car parcs is an area many suppliers are watching carefully. One member cited changes in Latin American car parcs, “It is a region with mostly American vehicles. Although there is still a long way before American vehicles are no longer the majority, it is important to take into account the market penetration of Asian and European vehicles.”
The OAC is one of the oldest and most unique organizations in the global automotive aftermarket. The Council strives to be the premier international community for all North American manufacturers and exporters, and all international importers, distributors and agents who participate in the automotive aftermarket. For more information about the OAC, AASA and its global outreach services, visit www.oac-intl.org.
Editor’s note: Ben Brucato is the director of membership and sponsorship of the AASA and executive director of the AASA OAC. The OAC promotes the sale in foreign markets of automotive and heavy-duty products manufactured in North America. Those products include components, accessories, chemicals, hand and power tools, service maintenance and repair equipment, and paint and body supplies for both cars and trucks. OAC has more than 350 members in more than 40 countries. More information is available through its website, www.oac-intl.org.
AASA exclusively serves manufacturers of aftermarket components, tools and equipment, and related products, which support 710,000 employees in the United States. AASA is a recognized industry change agent – promoting a collaborative industry environment, providing a forum to address issues and serving as a valued resource for members. AASA is the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).
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