Auto Care Association

Aftermarket supplier report points to continued growth

While growth has slowed from the torrid pace of the last few years, the automotive aftermarket is still keeping pace with the general economy, according to responses to the quarterly “Aftermarket Supplier Barometer” survey conducted by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

“In spite of the pessimism noted in the Q3 2012 AASA Barometer, a number of positive factors are in play which will improve the aftermarket’s future as we move forward,” said Steve Handschuh, AASA president and COO. “Vehicle age, a strong market driver, is still at record levels. There also is potential for substantial growth in miles driven – a future tailwind that few analysts take into account in forecasts.”

“Nearly 40 percent of AASA’s full service aftermarket manufacturers responding to our Q3 Barometer survey said the outlook for their business declined last quarter, while only 22 percent said it improved,” noted Paul McCarthy, AASA vice president, industry analysis, planning and member services. “The AASA Barometer analysis suggests that the slowdown is real; for example, growth in new orders dropped 4.6 percentage points to 2.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011.”

However, there are encouraging signs for the future, according to McCarthy. “The growth rate of supplier sales into the OES channel doubled from Q2 2012. In addition, more normal winter weather could help aftermarket sales; last year’s mild winter may have allowed consumers to delay typical repairs, leading to some pent-up demand,” he added.

The “AASA Aftermarket Supplier Barometer” is a quarterly survey of AASA full service supplier members on key indicators and market trends. The full survey report is an exclusive AASA member benefit and is available only to member companies which participate in the survey.

For more information about the AASA Aftermarket Supplier Barometer and other AASA industry analysis offerings, contact Paul McCarthy of AASA: or 919-406-8812.