Consumer outlook for 2008 aftermarket shows slick changes

Jan. 1, 2020
If the NPD Group's crystal ball is as accurate for 2008 as it was for 2007, aftermarket players might want to avert their eyes. Some of the expectations David Portalatin, industry analyst with NPD Group, shared with AAPEX attendees Wednesday were fav
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LAS VEGAS (Nov. 1, 2007) — If the NPD Group’s crystal ball is as accurate for 2008 as it was for 2007, aftermarket players might want to avert their eyes.

Some of the expectations David Portalatin, industry analyst with NPD Group, shared with AAPEX attendees Wednesday were favorable, including modest increases in total aftermarket spending. However others, such as the potential growing oil change intervals, could be scary if they come true like previous predictions have.

“Sometimes there’s a little gap between what customers say they’re going to do
what consumers do,” Portalatin says. “But (2007’s outlook and results) is one where it manifested itself.”

He says the group found consumers spent a little bit more on vehicle appearance in 2007, in line with NPD’s predictions. For 2008, Portalatin reports consumers expect to spend an average of $945 on vehicle repair, maintenance and appearance, a 7 percent increase over 2007.

“Consumers continue to modify their driving patterns,” he says. “We know there is a direct relationship between miles driven and how much money they have to spend to repair their vehicle.”

Some repairs might be major, with 9 percent of consumers reporting so, including the majority of whom will have a professional technician do the work.
The one downside, according to NPD’s data, the monthly oil change interval is expected to grow from 4.1 months to 4.9 months.

“That’s the context within which we’re looking forward to next year’s results,” Portalatin says. “Are consumers going to turn that around? Are they going to do more maintenance, more repairs? And where will they do it?"

He also shared insights into planned vehicle purchasing, variations in outlook based on vehicle and demographics and insight into the opportunity represented by offering products with some environmentally friendly attributes.
This is the second year for the consumer outlook study done exclusively for Industry Week.

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