LAS VEGAS (Nov. 4, 2016) — The automotive aftermarket is expected to grow 3.6 percent annually over the next six years, according to IHS Markit.
Meanwhile, after reaching a new high of 17.5 million units last year, new light vehicle sales are expected to level off and even decline a bit to 17.4 million this year, IHS Markit's Mark Seng told those attending his presentation at the Automotive Aftermarket Parts Expo in Las Vegas.
Even though there will be more new cars on the road, compared with recent years, the average age of light vehicles will extend to 11.6 years old this year, up from 11.5 years last year, and reach an average age of 11.8 years by 2019 as consumers continue to hang on to their aging vehicles, he said.
This trend should lead auto repairers to reconsider the repair “sweet spot” as vehicles 12 years and older will continue to be a large percentage of vehicles in operation.
Other trends the auto aftermarket can expect to observe are: the continued saturation of imported vehicle brands in the U.S. market vs. domestic brands; the growing popularity of small CUVs; and continued increase in miles driven by U.S. motorists, thus adding to the wear and tear on their vehicles.
Mr. Seng noted that the automotive aftermarket will enjoy increased dollar sales growth due in part to three vehicle parts — wiper blades, fuel pumps and wheel bearings — which have increased component value and thus higher price tags.