NEW YORK-A recently released report on the motor vehicle parts aftermarket indicates manufacturers' sales of replacement parts increased by a ``respectable'' margin of 4.2 percent last year. Business Trend Analysts Inc. of New York said the continued growth and popularity among consumers of specialty repair facilities ``continues to dramatically alter distribution patterns as more and more consumers elect the specialty shop over performing the repairs themselves.'' The company, which specializes in industrial market research, said this trend will have ``long lasting effects on the industry.''
Domestic manufacturers' sales of vehicle replacement parts were pegged at just under $15.8 billion in 1993-an increase of 4.2 percent over the previous year, the company said. Although the industry posted steady sales gains throughout the recent economic downturn, the company said dollar gains have yet to recover the pace they enjoyed earlier in the decade.
Sales of replacement filters were among the aftermarket's better performers, Business Trend Analysts noted. Aided by the rapid expansion of quick-lube outlets, dollar sales of filters advanced an average of 10.5 percent annually over the last five years.
The company also reported that U.S. sales of replacement truck tires-including light- and commercial-truck tires-rebounded in 1993, ending a two-year slump, with a 2.4-percent increase to 33.7 million units. Sales of passenger car tires, although steadier in recent years, were up only 1.6 percent last year. The firm said Goodyear continues to lead the pack in the passenger tire segment, with roughly twice the market share of each of its closest competitors, Michelin and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.