New car dealerships lost roughly 25 percent of their service capacity due to a decline in service bays during the last 12 years.
Independent service outlets, by comparison, added nearly 200,000 bays over that same period, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).
From 1989 to 2001, the number of new car dealerships operating service bays and the average number of service bays per dealership both declined, the latter dropping from 296,000 to 221,000 units and representing the loss of 75,000 service bays, according to the Aftermarket Jobber Report published by Bethesda-based AAIA.
AAIA President and CEO Alfred L. Gaspar said more than 70 percent of the motoring public relies on the independent aftermarket to manufacture, deliver, sell and install automotive parts and accessories. He said this illustrates why the AAIA and other industry organizations need to push for legislation assuring that independents receive the necessary information from auto makers in order to service late-model vehicles.
The report is part of the AAIA's Aftermarket Distribution Trends Series of studies, covering some 32 automotive products and 122 distribution channels over a period of 15 years. Another part of the series is the Aftermarket Parts and Components and Tire Report, covering trends in tires, batteries, filters, spark plugs, engine electrical systems, belts and hoses, engine accessories, brakes, exhaust, steering and suspension.
More information on the studies can be found by clicking on the appropriate front-page button found on AAIA's Web site, www.aftermarket.org.