Welcome to Auto Parts Forum
Whether you are a veteran automotive parts guru or just someone looking for some quick auto parts advice, register today and start a new topic in our forum. Registration is free and you can even sign up with social network platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn.
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.
View the full article
The industry shouldn’t be afraid of EVs. On the contrary, EVs are certain to present more business opportunities to automotive shops that are prepared for them. That was the takeaway from Ben Johnson, director of product management for Mitchell 1, during his session on the AAPEX stage on what shops, and the aftermarket, need to do to get ready for electrification.
“Whether BEVs (battery electric vehicles) are 5% or 50% of the market, we’re in business to solve problems and to keep these vehicles on the road and maintained properly,” Johnson said. “So, what we need to be focused on is not ‘when,’ but ‘what’ to do about it. It’s not a matter of ‘if.’ And, the good news is, for all these people who say to themselves that this is going to put them out of business, it just isn’t true.”
For shops to prepare to start working on EVs, Johnson suggested first getting familiar with the service information for these vehicles. For example, disabling the high-voltage system in these vehicles isn’t always as simple as just pulling a connector. Instead, some vehicles require the technician to wait a period of time – around 10 minutes or so – for the supercapacitors in the vehicle to discharge their stored energy.
Johnson said EVs are unique in that they have a servicing mode, and that it can’t be assumed it is safe to work on a vehicle as long as it is turned off; some electric vehicles could still be active. Johnson added technician knowledge will eventually make up for time lost researching this EV service information.
“[Systems] are not getting simpler. They’re getting more complex to deal with the things that we lose when we lose the internal combustion engine. You know, I’ve always said that a technician’s best tool is actually not their information system. It’s their experience,” Johnson explained. “When we look at a problem on a car the first time, we see a symptom on a particular vehicle that might drive us crazy figuring it out. But, once we figure it out, the next time we see that vehicle, which is inevitable, we’ll do it that much faster. So sometimes we lose a little money on the first one, but we make it up in spades as we go through the repair process.”
Johnson also suggested technicians should receive some training on the relationship between voltage, current and resistance, as well as how current flows, how to isolate circuits and how to measure many of these values. Technicians also should be familiar with basic EV tools, like a digital multimeter or oscilloscope.
In 2020, 2.3% of the vehicles sold were true electric vehicles, Johnson noted. About 12% were electrified, but also had a gasoline engine.
“So, 98% of what was sold last year still had a combustion engine,” he said. “If you look at the car parc and the actual cars that are on the road, over 99% of those still have internal combustion engines. There are over 70 EV models planned between now and 2027.”
Although the Biden administration is targeting half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. being EVs by 2030, that target is likely a bit aggressive, Johnson asserted.
“With Mr. Biden and his plan, nobody really sees a path to a 50% BEV sale by 2030. But, they do see a path if everything goes correctly, and it would be pretty aggressive, to see 32% by 2030,” he said. “And, just to put it into perspective if that happened, we would still have 68% of the vehicles sold with an internal combustion engine, and 92% of the vehicles on the road with [an internal combustion engine].”
The post AAPEX Session: Don’t Fear EVs; Embrace Them appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
View the full article
Continental has just launched a new website encompassing all of Continental’s OE-quality aftermarket replacement parts, diagnostic equipment and solutions for specialty vehicles.
The new website at continentalaftermarket.com serves as a central location for all product information, cataloging, training, news and more. It allows easy access to all of Continental’s brands, including ATE brake systems, REDI-Sensor multi-application TPMS sensors, Autodiagnos automotive diagnostic tools, ClearContact premium beam wiper blades and Continental Special Vehicle Solutions.
A major component of the new website is the Continental online parts catalog, which offers an easy and simple-to-use year/make/model look-up along with a VIN search, cross reference, Buyer’s guide, a where-to-buy feature and links to product information and specifications, how-to videos and technical-document downloads.
In addition to the all-brand online parts catalog, the Continental website also features a “Training Central” section that provides a wide variety of online training programs, webinars and how-to demonstration videos to help users expand their technical knowledge about the products and their specific applications. Aftermarket products currently featured in Training Central include REDI-Sensor TPMS sensors, Autodiagnos Pro and TPMS tools and Continental hybrid-battery cooling fans and coolant inverter pumps.
The Continental Special Vehicle Solutions section provides valuable insight into the expanding Continental portfolio of innovations designed to provide smart mobility, safety and driver comfort for commercial vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, off-highway and agricultural equipment, as well buses and recreational vehicles.
For more information, visit: continentalaftermarket.com or contact [email protected]
The post Continental Launches New Aftermarket Website In North America appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
View the full article
Delphi Technologies, a brand of BorgWarner Inc., received the 2021 AASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Award on Nov. 3 at AAPEX in Las Vegas.
“Delphi Technologies has a long history of walking the walk,” said Megan Gardner, director of membership and engagement with AASA. “They continuously set the bar high for their organization and in doing so, challenge others to follow suit in the honorable fight for DEI and a healthy company culture.”
Anita Barlow of Delphi Technologies (left) and Megan Gardner of AASA BorgWarner provides its employees with extensive programs and leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion and cultivates a workplace where diversity is welcomed, and employees are given opportunities to discuss inclusion openly. The company created regional DEI councils that review policies and procedures to ensure they are serving the needs of the employee base and implemented a global company ratio compensation analysis to take a stand against unconscious bias.
To take it a step further, BorgWarner also has specific trainings to help its workforce understand unconscious bias and how to overcome it. It’s clear that DEI is core to the company’s success, employee retention and culture.
“When we’re in an environment where everyone can be true to themselves, happiness and productivity come naturally,” said Anita Barlow, managing director, Remanufacturing, North America with Delphi Technologies. “This is critical in building high-performing teams, not just from a business perspective, but also a human one. When we feel like we can be ourselves, we feel a sense of inclusion and belongingness. This helps us from a company point of view to improve retention, productivity, and bottom-line profitability.”
Barlow was invited by Gardner on stage to receive the award on behalf of Delphi Technologies Aftermarket, and then participated in a quick Q&A on the company’s councils, implementation of DEI, and the strong reputation Delphi Technologies has earned by simply doing the right thing.
Daniel Tristan Receives DEI Individual Award
Daniel Tristan, director of International for Spectronics, received the 2021 AASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual Award.
“AASA is proud to announce a new annual award, with the purpose of recognizing an influential leader in the automotive aftermarket that supports and represents the core values of diversity, equity & inclusion,” said Ben Brucato, senior director for AASA. “AASA is dedicated to challenging our industry to be forward thinking and retaining and attracting talent from all backgrounds and walks of life. We know it will make our industry stronger and more resilient.”
Daniel Tristan of Spectronics (left) and Ben Brucato of AASA Tristan’s parents immigrated from Mexico in the 1960s, where his father started a service station in Texas and where Daniel started his automotive career as a small child. It was then that Tristan’s passion for hard work, leadership and DEI began to blossom.
Tristan is one of the youngest members of AASA’s board of governors and also is the incoming chairman of the Overseas Automotive Council (OAC). His roles in leadership allow him to be a huge advocate for minorities in the automotive aftermarket, where he helps recruit and retain talent from all backgrounds.
“As a Mexican American who started my career patching tires and doing oil changes, it is a privilege to be part of an industry that has given so much to me and my family,” said Tristan.
Ben Brucato took the stage following the announcement of the AASA Advocacy Champion, to officially name Tristan as the first ever AASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion.
Bruce Ronning Receives Member Advocacy Award
Bruce Ronning, senior vice president, Global Sales and Commercial Operations at DRiV, received the 2021 AASA Member Advocacy Award.
“This award is to recognize one of our members who has gone above and beyond and who has been a proud representative of our industry,” said Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of AASA. “Bruce has made the needs and values of the aftermarket heard and understood by key external audiences and has stood up for the future of the aftermarket.”
Ronning has contributed in several important ways over the past 20 months to justify this honor. He has acted as a vocal representative for aftermarket manufacturers in discussions with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce about supply chain and workforce challenges. He has provided valuable feedback on trade issues, dating back to the USMCA agreement and its favorable terms for the aftermarket, and then used his platform on the AASA board to encourage the concept of ports open 24/7.
Bruce Ronning of DriV (second from left) received the 2021 AASA Member Advocacy Award. Most importantly, he and his company were not afraid to speak up on the importance of Right to Repair and maintaining a competitive market for consumer choice on where, and with what parts, vehicles are serviced.
“I am humbled and grateful to be recognized by AASA with this award, as we at DRiV are always glad to work with Paul and the AASA/MEMA teams to do what we can to promote and ensure the future of our industry,” said Ronning. “I look forward to continuing our relationship and plan to do my part to ensure that the needs and issues affecting the aftermarket are taken seriously.”
Catherine Boland, MEMA’s vice president of government affairs, Leigh Merino, MEMA’s vice president of legislative affairs, and McCarthytook the stage to officially name Ronning as the first-ever AASA Advocacy Champion.
The post AASA Presents New Annual Advocacy And DEI Awards At AAPEX appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
View the full article
For U.S. Military Veterans returning to civilian life can be a major adjustment, fraught with challenges, including physical, psychological and financial burdens. Within the automotive aftermarket, many organizations recognize this and seek to provide support through various programs. Beyond this, there are a number of companies both within and outside the automotive aftermarket that recognize the unique and valuable skillsets that military veterans can offer in the civilian workforce thanks to their training, sense of loyalty and technical expertise, and seek to actively recruit these veterans for employment and franchise opportunities.
One such company is Pep Boys. In fact, the company was actually founded by World War I veterans looking to start the next chapter of their lives. They ended up creating a business that has lasted a century.
According to Pep Boys CEO Brian Kaner, “It’s important to us to continue to give generations of those who served the opportunity to write their own next chapter.” In addition to philanthropic initiatives, Pep Boys is a strategic partner of RecruitMilitary, the nation’s largest military-focused recruiting company. Pep Boys also supports a variety of internal workforce development initiatives, including “Race to 2026,” which recruits and supports the next generation of automotive technicians, including veterans, and is designed to help close America’s skills gap.
“Once a team member is part of our service network, they can take advantage of ongoing training, apprenticeship and career development programs,” said Kaner. “As our service network continues to grow, hiring is a critical need, and veterans, reservists and active-duty spouses are highly desirable candidates. We have a number of leaders who are overseeing some of our best-performing stores and regions, and leading initiatives such as our advanced diagnostic and electric vehicle work who served our country prior to joining Pep Boys.”
Kaner said those who serve bring a unique combination of both skills and values. “Depending on their role during their service, they bring applicable technical trade skills perhaps from working on military vehicles or with certain types of technology and systems. But, veterans and reservists also have a strong work ethic and outstanding integrity, and a shared commitment to a mission and accountability to each other, that comes from having served. These traits make them highly coveted and valued team members,” he noted.
Another area of significant opportunity within the automotive industry lies in the service and repair segment. A number of franchisors offer special incentive programs and resources specifically to support veterans.
One of those is Moran Family of Brands, one of the nation’s leading automotive repair franchises under the brands Milex Complete Auto Care and Mr. Transmission, which counts 14 United States veterans among its 120 total franchisees. Moran franchise owners have been enlisted in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines branches of the military, as well as the National Guard.
Moran is a longtime active member of VetFran, an initiative that grants a $5,000 franchise-fee discount, mentorship and training programs for any honorably discharged qualified veteran transitioning to civilian life.
Experience in the military has proven to be a great fit for franchise ownership. Members of the military exhibit strong leadership and motivational skills, something that is important for business owners. Like the military, franchise ownership involves following proven systems and defined procedures. This means a veteran can enter a completely new field and be likely to succeed by following the franchisor’s proven business model and completing the training program.
According to the International Franchise Association, although veterans make up only about 7% of the population, they account for 14% of all franchisees in the United States.
In addition to helping provide franchise ownership opportunities for veterans, Moran also is actively involved in attracting veteran employees as service technicians at its stores. The franchise has developed a recruiting process that works with local veteran affairs offices in search of workers with experience in the truck pool, heavy-equipment repairs and aircraft repairs. These veterans often make excellent automotive service techs.
As part of this process, Moran notifies veteran offices whenever a local shop is in need of adding a tech position at its location. Many of these veterans are younger and searching for opportunities shortly after returning from service. They often have the knowledge and technical skills for these service positions. The program has been mutually beneficial for both Moran’s individual shops and veterans looking to begin a successful career in auto repair.
Currently, about 25% of Moran’s franchisees are military veterans. The company estimates that about 40% or more of its technicians are veterans, reserves or active-duty personnel.
“We strive to keep people safe in their vehicles but, we understand that the military keeps us safe as a country. There’s no one we’d rather trust to employ in our shops than the one’s safeguarding our lives and our livelihood,” said Grant Maquet, Moran Family of Brands’ business development manager. “Veterans typically show the capacity for a strong work ethic, harness the ability to take any assigned task and hold the same core values that we do here at Moran Family of Brands.”
SUPPORT FOR SPOUSES
It is not only the veterans themselves who need support and resources when it comes to employment. Spouses of those in the military often need assistance as well. Currently, there are about 1 million military spouses in the global military community. It can be a challenge for military spouses to find and maintain employment with frequent permanent change-of-station moves.
In the collision repair segment, Maaco is one of 45 new partners to join the U.S. Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) this year, which currently includes 544 employers in all. MSEP connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers who commit to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses. Since its inception in 2011, MSEP employers have hired more than 200,000 military spouses.
The MSEP continues to be a key element of the Joining Forces initiative to increase economic opportunity and mobility for military families. “Maaco has a longstanding history of giving back to active, reserve military members and veterans, so we are proud to add another layer of support through this remarkable program,” said Chris Dawson, president, Maaco. “We have several franchisees and employees within our Maaco family who have served, so we know military spouses have a unique set of diverse skills that bring incredible value to every business, no matter the industry.”
The post Career Resources For Veterans In The Automotive Aftermarket appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
View the full article