MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2015) — Among auto manufacturers, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. are the most competitive in the independent automotive aftermarket in terms of parts and service coverage, respectively, according to a Frost & Sullivan Inc. report.
With the average vehicle age in North America at 10.5 years and nearly 60 percent of vehicles on the road more than six years old, there is a consumer migration from the original equipment service (OES) to the independent aftermarket, according to Frost, noting that OEMs need to not only design customer retention strategies within their dealership franchises but also compete effectively in the aftermarket.
GM's AC Delco brand has the greatest parts penetration rate in the aftermarket among all OEM brands. The key success factors for the brand in the aftermarket, according to Frost, is GM's robust distribution network and partnership with independent repair facilities for marketing and technician training.
General Motors Customer Care & Aftersales (GMCCA), along with its channel partners, focuses aggressively on educating and encouraging consumers about installing a GM or an AC Delco part during servicing/repair, Frost said.
Meanwhile, Ford's Quick Lane service chain — with outlets often located at car dealerships — is the largest competitive advantage for Ford in the aftermarket, “as no other OEM has such kind of service business model,” according to Frost, noting that the service chain is designed to counter the loss of service business to independent service shops.
“Quick Lanes are a viable alternative to OES for Ford owners, as this option ensures the installation of Ford or Motorcraft parts in their vehicles whereas in the (independent aftermarket) that may not happen,” said Avijit Ghosh, principal consultant for Frost & Sullivan's automotive and transportation research practice.
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. do not sell directly into the aftermarket, but their respective dealerships do sell in the aftermarket, Frost said, adding that Volkswagen of America prefers to retain customers within its OE network and does not compete in the aftermarket.