While final analysis of 2010 light vehicle aftermarket volume will not be completed by Lang Marketing for several months, it is clear 2010 was a milestone year, achieving a dramatic turnaround in car and light truck product sales and marking the beginning of what promises to be a multi-year run of robust aftermarket performance.
Foreign vehicles (imports and transplants) led the way with a dramatic sales surge in car and light truck products, as domestic vehicles recorded their first aftermarket product gain in several years.
The service (do-it-for-me) market accounted for over 96 percent of aftermarket 2010 product growth, while there were big differences in 2010 sales performance by type of vehicle (cars vs. light trucks), as well as among major distribution channels.
Strong 2010 growth
Light vehicle aftermarket products increased more than 3 percent in 2010 sales at user-price, one of the most robust gains in over 10 years.
This was a strong rebound from the 0.5 percent drop in 2009 light vehicle aftermarket products and marked a beginning of what promises to be a multi-year run of aftermarket expansion.
Foreign vehicles lead the way
Foreign cars and light trucks (imports and transplants) generated the majority of 2010 aftermarket product growth. Domestic vehicles (not including transplants) contributed to 2010 product expansion, recording their first annual sales gain since 2007.
Between 2000 and 2010, foreign cars and light trucks generated over 75 percent of car and light truck aftermarket product growth, soaring more than $10 billion in product sales at user-price.
Service (DIFM) market strength
The service market (products installed by professional mechanics) generated virtually all the 2010 gain in light vehicle products, with do-it-yourself (DIY) volume contributing only approximately 7 percent of the increase.
As they did across the overall 2010 light vehicle aftermarket, foreign vehicles led the way in service market product growth, reflecting their expanding share of vehicles 12 years and younger, which generate most service market product volume.
Some DIY gain
DIY volume recorded its first increase in four years during 2010, reflecting the overall strength of the market rather than any increase in the incidence of DIY repair, which declined as a percentage of 2010 product sales.
Cars vs. light trucks
Although cars climbed in new vehicle sales share between 2008 and 2010, light trucks still increased their percentage of 2010 aftermarket product volume, as a result of their growing portion of vehicles in age categories producing above-average aftermarket consumption.
Growth across distribution channels
Three channels (integrated, traditional and import) generated all 2010 aftermarket product growth. In contrast, the OE channel and specialized channel each declined in 2010 aftermarket light vehicle product share.
Harbinger of future developments
2010 was a landmark year, not only in terms of its aftermarket product resurgence, but also as an indicator of market segments which will generate the bulk of car and light truck aftermarket growth over the next several years.
In particular, foreign vehicles (imports and transplants) will continue as the primary driver of aftermarket product expansion for the foreseeable future, with the service (DIFM) market responsible for virtually all product growth (in terms of how products are installed).