Parts proliferation. Dealerships growing their businesses. Fluctuating bottom lines. The list of challenges today's aftermarket faces can seem daunting. But amid the uncertainty of the coming year, there is hope. With more drivers putting off maintenance in the last year, some repairs are inevitable. Then there's the growing specialty parts sector and the increasing use of the Internet. More training is available than ever before, and returns are not out of control in most areas. See? Things aren't all bad. Such goes Aftermarket Business' annual State of the Industry survey, which takes a look at the aftermarket from the manufacturer to the jobber through to the consumer.
According to our annual State of the Industry report (published in February 2008), the U.S. economy is by far the largest concern for the aftermarket for the coming year. Fifty percent of WDs and 53 percent of program groups feel the economy is somewhat of a challenge, while 55 percent of retailers say the economy is a significant challenge. Other common threads in the back of the aftermarket's mind are training and finding qualified employees. Program group data shows that nearly 90 percent say finding qualified employees is a somewhat or significant challenge, while 59 percent say sales and business training is somewhat of a challenge. Advancing vehicle technology is changing faster than ever, giving 51 percent of independent repair shops reason to feel it is somewhat of a challenge. Just less than 50 percent say loss of customers is a concern. Meanwhile, 63 percent of dealerships say losing customers is a concern. And that majority opinion should give the aftermarket hope that not all in 2008 is bleak.
The following are downloadable files for the Aftermarket Business Market Research section. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files. This program is available as a free download from the Adobe Web site.
To see results from our 2007 State of the Industry Report (published in February 2007) click here.
To see results from our 2004 State of the Industry Report (published in February 2004) click here.
To see results from our 2005 State of the Industry Report (published in February 2005) click here.
To see results from our 2006 State of the Industry Report (published in February 2006) click here.