I recently read a novel where an investigation was at a standstill because witnesses were not able to provide a decent description of the suspect. What did he look like? What was he wearing? Did he have any distinguishing features? Obviously, without knowing any precise details, it was difficult for the authorities to solve the mystery.
After reading this, I began to think about how important it is for aftermarket companies to know as many details as possible about the vehicles in their market. While a complete understanding of the vehicle parts in your area might never solve a Sherlock Holmes–type mystery, it certainly provides the clues needed to get the right parts at the right time and to better manage inventory.
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Automotive parts can vary greatly from region to region, and knowing these differences can make aftermarket planning significantly more efficient and profitable. Take tires, for example. The following is market share for rim sizes in the United States:
- 16 inches: 33 percent
- 15 inches: 28.2 percent
- 17 inches: 19.3 percent
- 14 inches: 10 percent
- 18 inches: 1.3 percent
- 19 inches: 1.3 percent
- 20 inches: 1.3 percent
Ordering parts based on national averages would be similar to a detective always looking for someone who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. Sure, that’s an average height and weight, but these characteristics may not apply to the person the detective’s looking for.