Aftermarket sales projections strong, despite supply issues: DAC

New research by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC), along with the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO), has reported findings from an industry survey about the performance of the aftermarket in 2022. “While supply remained tight and parts prices increased, the aftermarket continued to show its resilience as sales grew” said Andrew King, Managing Partner at DAC. “Expectations also seem to point to sales growth continuing into the future.”

According to the report, when asked about their sales performance in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021, “almost 70 per cent of respondents noted sales growth. Looking at the longer term picture, not far from half of respondents (45.2%) noted growth of between one and ten percent current in their sales compared to pre-pandemic, with a further 20.6% citing growth in excess of eleven percent.” There was still a smaller percentage among the aftermarket retailers who noted that sales remained negative, and nearly twenty per cent of responses cited no change.

In terms of the outlook for the rest of 2022, the report states that “over half of aftermarket retailers noted that they expect sales to grow one to ten percent above the results they saw in 2021. A solid 24.7% of them expect sales to reach eleven or more percent above 2021 levels. However, 13.7% still expect minor decreases throughout the rest of the year.”

Oil changes and regular maintenance remained largely unchanged, according to nearly half of responses, with 42.5% of responses noting an increase in sales. Similarly, tire changes and sales remained mostly unchanged according to 48.0% of aftermarket retailers with a further 41.1% citing increased sales. Diagnostic work saw increased business according to 56.2% of responses with 38.4% citing little change. Similarly, preventative maintenance work saw 57.5% of responses pointing to increased business against 34.3% citing little change. For all four categories, business declining was by far the least likely occurrence.

The report concludes, “While the sales picture easily leans positive, aftermarket retailers still cited significant issues with the parts supply. Overall, 71.2% of responses pointed towards issues with jobbers and 93.2% pointed towards problems with new vehicle dealers. Obviously, this shortage of parts has exacerbated the trend of increasing parts prices. None of the respondents noted decreases from either source with the overwhelming majority noting price increases, more often in the six to ten percent range.”

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