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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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The Meineke Dealers Purchasing Cooperative Inc. (MDPCI) has announced Advance Auto Parts as the winner of the 2021 Vendor of the Year Award.
Advance has been a member of the Meineke Dealers Association (MDA) and the MDPCI Co-op for many years. Over the past few, Advance’s program has grown at “unprecedented rates,” according to the MDA and MDPCI.
Vendor of the Year is selected based on survey results from the Meineke dealer group and is awarded based on criteria ranging from the cost and quality of parts and services to the overall ease working with the vendor. One of the key measurements is overall satisfaction with the vendor and their program.
“The growth of our program with Advance has been tremendous over the past year,” said Ron Soto, executive director of the MDA and MDPCI said. “It is a testament to the true partnership they have provided our dealers and the delivery of the commitment they made to the MDPCI to help increase profitability of the Meineke Service Centers nationwide. Advance has developed an exceptional program working with the MDPCI as partners, and helped Meineke dealers across the country. We look forward to continued growth in 2022 and beyond.”
“On behalf of the entire Advance Professional team (Advance, Carquest, Autopart International and WorldPac) that supports Meineke Dealers every single day, I’d like to express how honored we are to be named Vendor of the Year for Meineke Dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada in 2021,” said Pete Masini, director of strategic accounts at Advance. “Moments like this do not typically happen by accident, and it takes an effort on both sides to build partnerships like the ones we have with our Meineke partners.
“Our relationship has been a journey to reach this point, and every day, more and more Meineke dealers are giving Advance Professional the opportunity to earn their business. Thank you for your support. Our promise is to continue our passion for providing you with industry-leading service that you can rely on, quality parts, solutions to support your business growth, and a partnership to last for many years to come.”
The post Meineke Dealers Select Advance As 2021 Vendor Of The Year 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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NRS Brakes recently launched new galvanized brake pads designed exclusively for late-model Ford and Lincoln vehicles.
The galvanized brake pads are for the following makes and models: 2017-2020 Ford Fusion; 2015-2020 Ford Edge; 2017-2019 Ford Escape; 2017-2019 Lincoln Continental; 2016-2018 Lincoln MKX; 2018-2020 Lincoln MKZ; and the 2019-2020 Lincoln Nautilus.
NRS Brakes is globally recognized for its premium, fully galvanized brake pads.
“Like all brake pads from NRS Brakes, this new release features unparalleled semi-met friction, patented mechanical-attachment technology and fully galvanized-steel backing plates,” the company said in a news release. “The galvanized steel withstands rust and corrosion, meaning NRS brake pads require significantly fewer replacements than other aftermarket pads, making them the most affordable option based on total cost of ownership over the life of the vehicle.”
The brake pads for all of the Ford and Lincoln models have undergone rigorous testing in one of the world’s most advanced brake-testing labs to ensure quality, efficiency and performance, according to the company.
To view a complete listing of NRS galvanized brake pads and vehicle compatibility, visit https://nrsbrakes.com/.
The post NRS Launches Galvanized Brake Pads For Ford, Lincoln Models appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
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