Aftermarket vehicle management apps gain popularity

The proliferation of connected devices, particularly smartphones and tablets, has accelerated the adoption of vehicle management apps in North America. While infotainment and convenience solutions dominate the automotive apps aftermarket, the focus is expected to shift toward vehicle service, information and management apps. This shift will ensure long-term revenue opportunities for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), third-party developers and aftermarket participants in North America.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, North American Aftermarket Automotive Apps—Strategic Analysis of Vehicle Information, Service and Management Apps, that includes a "Voice of Customer" survey, reveals that nearly 50 percent of respondents are either familiar with or have used vehicle management apps. The study also found that close to 50 percent of respondents are likely to use vehicle management and breakdown assistance apps if they were available inside the vehicle.

Vehicle owners accustomed to the connected experience demand greater integration of mobile and in-vehicle apps that will allow them to monitor their vehicles, receive on-the-go services, and purchase parts and accessories. This increasing demand enhances the prospects of the North American automotive apps aftermarket.

"The advancement of remote diagnostic and prognostics capabilities will be a turning point for the aftermarket vehicle management apps," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Kumar Saha. "As vehicle owners show greater willingness to invest in apps with effective breakdown assistance and repair or maintenance tracking, revenue generation will increase."

Several OEMs are looking to offer more comprehensive features along with their basic products through either a subscription or a 'freemium' model, in which they gain consumer appeal and then charge a fee.

However, monetization of vehicle management apps continues to be a challenge. Aftermarket participants and dealerships primarily use apps as value added features in their overall e-commerce strategies, limiting opportunities for direct revenues.

While independent third-parties earn the highest revenues through lead generation, advertising, and listing fee models, OEMs and aftermarket participants need to introduce app-enabled remote diagnostics and prognostics capabilities to ensure revenue generation and remain competitive.

"Vehicle management apps must include advanced features, such as real-time vehicle monitoring, remote repair and tracking capabilities to attract payments from vehicle owners," concluded Saha. "Distributors and retailers need to find the right industry partners to introduce these capabilities and generate a new revenue stream."

North American Aftermarket Automotive Apps—Strategic Analysis of Vehicle Information, Service and Management Apps is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis of the North American and European Tire Pressure Monitoring System Aftermarket, U.S. Generation "Y": Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Environment and Personal Mobility Needs and Vehicle Preferences, Strategic Analysis of the Impact of Smartphones and Apps on the European and North American Infotainment Market, Business Models and Opportunities in the North American Traditional and Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.