Things are looking up

Times are tough out there; at least that’s what the mainstream media is telling us every evening. But aside from all the gloomy financial news surrounding bailouts, shady executive bonuses and the recession, there has been some recent news that sheds some light on our businesses in the automotive aftermarket.

According to several news sources, the aftermarket is set for a boom period on the repair side, and, aside from the anecdotal evidence, there are some hard numbers to back it up from a few different sources.

As countless stories have belabored the troubles of the Big Three and plummeting new car sales, the flip side is that consumers are holding onto their cars longer. Repairs are increasing as folks realize it really is cheaper to repair than replace.

The Automotive Service Association reported its members’ sales were up 16 percent, in a recent CNN story. ASA President Ron Pyle said in the story that consumers are looking to take care of maintenance and safety issues more and more as they realize they need the family car to last longer.

Additionally, the International Automotive Technicians’ Network polled its members and found that 79 percent expect business to be the same or better in 2009, with 61 percent forecasting an increase and 16 percent expecting a dramatic increase.

There’s still a recession on, and it stinks that we’re seeing a lot more closed stores on Main Street, but it’s good to know that the repair aftermarket can take the lead in getting the economy back on track.

For more on iATN, see www.iatn.net.
For more on the ASA, see www.asashop.org.

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