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Meet “the Marble family.” Mrs. Marble drives a two-year-old BMW, which she takes to the dealership for all maintenance and repairs. Since the pandemic hit, she’s been working from home entirely, saving her vehicle from the wear and tear of a 30-mile daily commute.
Traditionally, Mrs. Marble hasn’t supported the independent automotive aftermarket at all. But, she picked up a new hobby during the pandemic: car detailing. And her husband, who drives a 10-year-old Ford F-150, has decided not to purchase a new truck due to inventory shortages and skyrocketing prices on the showroom floor. Instead, Mr. Marble has been tackling delayed maintenance needs such as new brakes and a coolant flush. On top of that, the Marble family bought a new camper, which they’ve taken on 20 road trips since the pandemic started.
Then there’s “Hailey.” Although she’s been working from home and driving less during the pandemic, the extra time at home inspired her to restore her 1966 Mustang that’s been sitting in the garage. Meanwhile, “Charles,” who lives in New York City (and previously didn’t own a vehicle), bought a car during the pandemic, because he can’t stand the prospect of using mass transit due to fears of being exposed to COVID.
Nathan Shipley, executive director, industry analyst, for The NPD Group, used these fictional but “very real” examples to show how the pandemic has spurred major changes in consumer behavior – many of which have benefited the automotive aftermarket in a big way. During a presentation at AAPEX 2021 in Las Vegas, Shipley shared NPD Group data showing that the automotive aftermarket gained nearly 4 million new retail buyers in 2020.
“That’s a big number,” Shipley said. “Those are folks who had not bought anything on the DIY side of the aftermarket prior to 2020, and all of a sudden magically appeared and were engaged with us as an industry.”
Looking back, the whys behind the boom in DIY sales have become crystal clear: more time at home; a windfall of discretionary cash from stimulus checks, child-tax credits and (for some) extended unemployment benefits; an aversion to airplanes and public transportation; and cabin fever, which drove sales of RVs and boats to record levels.
As Shipley discussed The NPD Group’s 2022 outlook for front-room retail sales in the automotive aftermarket, he noted a number of “mixed signals” on the horizon. On the positive side, the job market remains strong in the aftermath of the 2020 recession; COVID-inspired activities such as camping, boating and road trips are showing no signs of slowing down; and the new- and used-car marketplace is pushing consumers to keep their older vehicles on the road longer than planned.
“There are more cars on the road now than ever,” Shipley added. “Scrappage rates are down. VIO is up. The average [vehicle] age is trending older because of what’s happening with new cars. Those are all nice tailwinds for the aftermarket.”
However, there are a number of pandemic-era tailwinds that could become headwinds for the aftermarket in 2022 – notably the absence of stimulus payments and the expiration of the eviction moratorium, expanded unemployment benefits and student-loan forbearance. Shipley believes that many consumers likely will be surprised by a smaller-than-usual tax refund, because “they just don’t understand the mechanics” of the child-tax-credit payments that showed up in consumers’ bank accounts in 2021.
And, while Shipley said he expects miles driven to return to 2019 levels this year, rising gasoline prices remain the ultimate wild card. At press time (Jan. 7), the average price of gasoline was $3.303 per gallon nationwide, according to AAA.
“We can go back years … and there’s a direct correlation between gasoline prices and miles driven, notably when we get to gasoline-price thresholds of $3.50 a gallon, $4 a gallon,” Shipley added. “That’s when we start to really see – at least historically – major behavior changes as it relates to driving. So this has crept back into the conversation.”
NPD’s data modeling for 2022 calls for U.S. aftermarket retail sales to pull back 5.7% from 2021 – a year in which sales were up nearly 8% compared to 2020. However, the 2022 forecast anticipates that aftermarket retail sales will be 8.5% higher this year than they were in 2019.
“This is a bullish forecast,” Shipley said. “This is suggesting that 2021 was the peak, and things are going to keep trucking right along,” assuming there are no new sales-triggering events such as additional stimulus packages.
He added: “I think the big takeaway is that the fundamentals of this industry are very, very strong. We should feel very, very good about where we’re at as an industry. But, overall, we expect things to settle in just below where they were in 2021.”
The post NPD Group Bullish On Retail Aftermarket For 2022 appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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AMN/Counterman and Babcox Media are thrilled to kick off the nomination process for our third-annual “Women at the Wheel” celebration!
For our May 2022 cover story, Women at the Wheel, we will be profiling some of today’s top female professionals leading the charge in the automotive aftermarket.
We are looking for candidates from the executive level to the counter pro to the shop owner who make a difference through innovation, business acumen or serving as a role model in the automotive aftermarket.
Click here to nominate a woman in your professional community who creates that spark. We can’t wait to share your stories.
The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.
The post Nominations Now Open For 2022 ‘Women At The Wheel’ appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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Hahn Automotive Warehouse announced the closing of its acquisition of Carparts Distribution Center.
Stan Lewis, president of Carparts, will continue with the company as general manager for the New England store group.
Carparts has its main warehouse in Plaistow, New Hampshire, along with 20 jobber/retailer stores in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.
“We are excited to be expanding our footprint in the New England area with a family-owned business with similar values and business practices as Hahn,” said Daniel Chessin, co-president and CEO of Rochester, New York-based Hahn.
Hahn and Carparts are members of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
“With the acquisition of Carparts, we are able to strengthen the Auto Value brand and expand our product offering to ensure that our customers are supplied with the parts they need,” said Eli Futerman, co-president and CEO of Hahn.
Lewis added: “We are extremely pleased to be joining Hahn as this combination provides significant opportunities for growth for our customers throughout the New England area.”
The post Hahn Automotive Acquires Carparts Distribution Center appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. Announces Dates for Its Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2021 Earnings Release and Conference CallBy Auto News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (the “Company” or “O’Reilly”) (Nasdaq: ORLY), a leading retailer in the automotive aftermarket industry, announces the release date for its fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results as Wednesday, February 9, 2022, with a conference call to follow on Thursday, February 10, 2022.
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Lumileds recently introduced the new Philips GoPure GP5212, a powerful, compact and innovative car air purifier that can quickly remove up to 100 different types of pollutants and neutralize unpleasant odors in a vehicle.
GoPure GP5212 uses a special three-layer filter technology to quickly deliver clean, fresh air in minutes, according to the company, and its extremely compact and portable design makes it easy to use anywhere in the vehicle.
Unlike other filters that simply remove odors, the Philips SelectFilter Plus technology quickly and effectively filters out small particles, viruses, bacteria, pollen and toxic gases, according to the company.
The first stage is a pre-filter designed to capture large particles such as pet hair, dust and airborne dirt. The second layer features a HESA (high-efficiency sorbent agent) filter that scrubs out toxic gases and harmful chemicals and uses a powerful absorption and oxidation process to remove smoke, odors and gases.
The final layer employs a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that remove over 99% of airborne bacteria and virus in a laboratory. It also captures ultra-fine particles, as small as 0.015 microns, that can get deep into the lungs that may cause health issues.
The Philips GoPure GP5212’s exceptional clean-air delivery rate (CADR) of 16 m3/hour for particulate matter down to 2.5 microns (PM2.5) makes it an ideal solution for protecting drivers and passengers from harmful particles in the vehicle cabin, according to Lumileds. GoPure GP5212 can filter 50% of interior air in a standard sedan or SUV in just 10 minutes.
GoPure GP5212’s advanced filter technology decontaminates the vehicle’s interior environment by removing harmful NO2/SO2 fumes and toxic gases from road traffic brought into the vehicle by cabin fans and ventilation. By treating nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at a CADR of 13 m3 per hour and sulphur dioxide (SO2) at 7.9 m3 per hour, the GoPure GP5212 reduces the exposure to dangerous levels of air pollution that can be much higher inside the car than outside.
“The new Phillips GoPure GP5212 car air purifier comes into our automotive marketplace at a very opportune time,” noted Aubry Baugh, product marketing manager. “In light of current pandemic conditions, air pollution and overall air quality, as well as a greater awareness of healthy living and well-being, most motorists and their passengers are keenly aware of the need for fresh, clean air in their vehicles. Our advanced GoPure GP5212 helps deliver that healthy air, so our customers can drive comfortably and breathe easier.”
The Philips GoPure GP5212 is designed to operate automatically, so the driver can focus on operating the vehicle. When plugged into the vehicle’s auxiliary power outlet, the unit turns on and off with the vehicle’s ignition. The GoPure GP5212 two-speed fan can be easily adjusted by the power button. An indicator light signals the need for a filter replacement.
The GoPure GP5212 has a compact and lightweight footprint of only 7 inches by 7 inches by 2.7 inches, and 1.7 pounds. This allows for easy and convenient installation anywhere in the vehicle.
GoPure GP5212 comes complete with a hook fastener, armrest and headrest attachment belt, and a 12-foot 12-volt power cable.
The post Lumileds Introduces GoPure GP5212 Automotive Air Purifier appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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