LAS VEGAS (Nov. 5, 2013) — The automotive aftermarket is expected to continue its sluggish growth going into 2014, according to NPD Group Inc.
The research was presented by David Portalatin, executive director and industry analyst, automotive for Houston-based NPD, during an AAPEX seminar in Las Vegas.
Based on consumer surveys of their purchase intentions, NPD predicted that retail dollar sales in the automotive sector, including vehicle parts and maintenance, will increase about 2.3 percent in 2014, while unit sales will continue to be flat. 2013 dollar sales are expected to increase about 2 percent with flat unit sales.
Among the three drivers of retail sales:
- Unit sales are expected to be flat;
- Miles driven is expected to decrease slightly; and
- New and used vehicle sales are expected to increase.
However the majority of consumers surveyed said they intend to hold on to their aging vehicles, according to NPD, and survey results indicate that consumers are willing to spend money to keep their vehicles running.
The trend of consumers keeping vehicles that are 11-plus years old "is not going away for quite awhile. People have revalued the older car," Mr. Portalatin said.
Quality products and services carry more weight in their purchase decisions than price alone, according to survey results. However, Mr. Portalatin noted that the aftermarket is chasing declining unit volume by discounting prices and putting "everything on sale all the time."
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