CASE (connected, autonomous, shared and electrified) vehicles are in their infancies and they have a lot of maturing to do before they become a significant part of the vehicle parc.
Mr. Hirsh predicts it will take another decade or so before electric vehicles become more commonplace and more vehicle owners transition to electrified vehicles.
Electrified vehicles account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. vehicle parc, Mr. Hirsh said, a share that probably won't change much until around 2026, when the cost of ownership of a fully electric vehicle should become equal to or better than an internal combustion engine-powered vehicle.
"Once that happens, then things change," he said.
Once electrified vehicles become affordable, adoption will happen quickly, he noted.
"Electrification will gradually have an impact and then I think there is a tipping point somewhere where it becomes truly economical for the everyday vehicle purchaser to buy an electric vehicle as opposed to an internal combustible engine (vehicle)."
Adoption of autonomous vehicles are even further away, he said, as they are still in the experimental/concept stage.
Shared-mobility operations, such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., have enjoyed phenomenal growth — about $30 billion in gross revenue in the U.S. — but passenger miles through Uber and Lyft account for less than 1 percent of total vehicles miles traveled.
"Despite how much it has grown, how much we may use it for certain things, it's not a large part of the transportation network today," Mr. Hirsh said.
Looking ahead, Mr. Hirsh said CASE vehicles will have positive and negative impacts on the independent vehicle aftermarket:
Connected vehicles, by virtue of embedded technology, will have fewer under- or unperformed maintenance and repairs; however the connected technology will direct more service work to OEM dealers. But Mr. Hirsh said this will not have a significant impact on the independent aftermarket because OEM dealers don't have enough service bay capacity to handle all the vehicles — "They'd be swamped."
Autonomous/shared vehicles will be maintained better by their owners, rack up more miles driven and have more parts related to Automated Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) to replace; but their adoption will result in fewer new vehicle sales.
Electric vehicles will sport new expensive parts; but they also will have fewer parts to replace.
Mr. Hirsh said the industry question really is not: "Are these things are going to happen?" but "When?" and "What is the impact?"
"We live in an industry that doesn't change very fast because anything you start to do today has to work its way through 263 million vehicles on the road with an average age of over 12 years. It takes a while for that impact to be felt by us in the independent aftermarket," he said.
Even by 2030, the effects on the market will be muted.
"That doesn't mean they won't be felt by certain individual players, …" he said.