Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 27
After(market) Thoughts provides a recap of recent Auto Care Association teleforums,
webinars or events featuring the thoughts of aftermarket industry professionals.
TOP 3 TRENDS TO LOOK FOR IN 2018
THE Auto Care Association's
Manufacturers' Reps Council recently
hosted its most attended teleforum
to date on the topic of business
challenges our industry is facing in
2018. The teleforum, moderated
by Richard Schwartz, managing
partner, Schwartz Advisors, featured
a panel of industry experts including:
Dan Griffin, senior director, global
aftermarket - sales engineering,
finance, Dana Incorporated; Corey
Bartlett, president and CEO, Automotive
Parts Headquarters, Inc.; and
Bruce Tartaglione, senior strategist,
business development, Airtex/ASC.
The aftermarket veterans shared their
thoughts, insights and predictions
for the year ahead and what they're
anticipating for our industry.
While a range of issues were
discussed - from the recent severe
weather to parts proliferation - three
major trends were emphasized by the
panelists throughout their discussion.
Here are the top three trends to look
for in 2018 for the aftermarket industry,
according to our expert panel.
1. Potential for industry growth
A number of current factors are
creating an environment of cautious
optimism for the aftermarket industry,
with one in particular being the recent
upward trend of the economy.
"I see a generally positive trend
led by the economic indicators that
we're seeing throughout the course
of this year and next year. From a
practical standpoint, we understand
that there's an increase of vehicles in
operation that are getting to the sweet
spot of needing services and parts as
we continue to move on beyond the
recession of 2008 and 2009, so I think
that's a positive factor," said Griffin.
Despite the uneasiness that
e-commerce may have brought to
many segments of the aftermarket
in recent years, the panelists
believed the worst is likely behind
the industry now as it's become
more embraced over time. While the
panel acknowledged the element of
competition that e-commerce brings,
they emphasized that embracing and
incorporating the method of retail
into one's business is going to be the
best way to leverage the change and
remain competitive in the long run.
Additionally, the area of wear and
tear on vehicles, including age and
extreme weather, gives the panel a
reason to be optimistic. The average
age of post-recession vehicles has
reached the 11-plus-year range,
which will entail an increased need
for replacement parts and repairs.
The colder-than-usual winter
weather this season has also given
the panel "rose-colored glasses"
on parts sales in Q1 2018.
2. Consolidation is happening,
and far from over.
"If we're going to have the inventory
our customers need... we need to
grow our volume. I think it's likely
that some smaller and mid-sized
[companies] are going to be challenged
to expand their volume," said Bartlett.
3. The need for trained
technicians is only increasing.
"There is a definite shortage of
technicians. The baby-boomer owners
and technicians are nearing retirement
age, and the school programs that
had fed the shops with trained
technicians at entry level are almost
nonexistent," said Tartaglione.
Want to hear the full teleforum?
Go to http://bit.ly/jan18teleforum.
Sound off! Do you agree or disagree with the panelists' predictions for the industry in 2018?
Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have them featured in a future issue of Auto Care Insider.
AUTO CARE INSIDER | VOL. 109
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Auto Care Insider Volume 109
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - Intro
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - Cover1
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - Cover2
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 1
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 2
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 3
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 4
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 5
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 6
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 7
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 8
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 9
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 10
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 11
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 12
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 13
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 14
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 15
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 16
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 17
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 18
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 19
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 20
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 21
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 22
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 23
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 24
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 25
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 26
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 27
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - 28
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - Cover3
Auto Care Insider Volume 109 - Cover4