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    • By Counterman
      Electric vehicles. E-commerce. Vehicle complexity. Consolidation. Autonomous Driving. Connectivity. How will these and other trends affect the automotive aftermarket over the next decade, and more importantly, how should aftermarket suppliers respond?
      A new study – “The U.S. Automotive Aftermarket in 2035” – attempts to answer these questions, with aftermarket suppliers “facing more inflection points than we ever have before,” in the words of Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) President and CEO Paul McCarthy.
      “And the reality is we can’t handle them all,” McCarthy said at the 2022 AASA Vision Conference in Dearborn, Michigan. “So we need to understand which ones are really going to disrupt us and which ones may matter less. Because if there’s one thing we know, the aftermarket in 2035 is not going to look like the aftermarket today.”
      Conducted by the management consulting firm
      link hidden, please login to view, the study looks at the current and future states of the automotive aftermarket. One of the most alarming conclusions from the study is that aftermarket suppliers aren’t ready to deal with nine high-impact trends: BEV (battery-electric-vehicle) penetration; e-commerce and o2o (online-to-offline); consolidation; labor shortages; supply chain disruption; data access; autonomous driving; supply chain footprint; and sustainability. Barry Neal, senior partner at Roland Berger, and Neury Freitas, principal at Roland Berger, presented an overview of the study findings at the AASA Vision Conference. Here are some of the highlights.
      Battery Electric Vehicles
      How much and how soon will BEVs affect the independent aftermarket? That all depends on which part of the market you serve.
      By 2035, the study projects that only 2% of 12-year-old vehicles and older will be electric, while 11% of 8- to 11-year-old vehicles will be electric. However, the impact of BEVs will be more pronounced in newer vehicles, with 32% of 0- to 3-year-old vehicles expected to be electric.
      “The more you are dependent on the OES or OEM channel, the more or sooner EVs will actually impact your business,” Freitas explained.
      At 100,000 miles, BEVs require 50% fewer service visits than internal-combustion vehicles, based on OEM service recommendations. By 200,000 miles, that gaps shrinks slightly to 47%.
      “There clearly are services that will disappear in an EV,” Freitas said. “Anything that’s related to the engine, anything that’s related to combustion will go away.”
      BEVs will need battery coolant, but due to regenerative braking, brake systems typically last longer on electric vehicles.
      “The tire players are really happy,” Freitas added. “They are waiting for EVs, because either you have a heavier vehicle that needs a stronger structure of the tire, therefore they’re more expensive, or if you use a normal tire, that’s going to wear faster. So, that’s a positive.”
      Online-to-Offline Business Model
      The pandemic has accelerated the growth of o2o in the automotive aftermarket, as more consumers embraced buying parts and booking appointments via their mobile devices. The linkage between the offline and online worlds “brings a lot of benefits and a lot of convenience for consumers,” Freitas asserted.
      The increased convenience for consumers, and the cost savings along the value chain, will continue to drive the growth of o2o in two phases: parts efficiency, as proactive diagnostics and digital parts/service selection and scheduling enable a lower cost structure; and labor efficiency, as advanced booking/scheduling and predictive maintenance improve labor utilization and throughput.  
      “If you get the higher convenience for consumers, together with the potential cost savings, at a first step, if you know which parts will be needed and where they’ll be needed before they are actually needed, you can cut a few steps [from] the value chain and in the supply chain, and you can actually save some real money, as you don’t need hot-shot [delivery], for example,” Freitas explained. “And then in a second step, once we get to a large enough critical mass, and the shops are able to schedule similar services back to back, we might get some efficiencies from the technicians as well.”
      Consolidation
      According to Roland Berger, the United States is leading the way in terms of consolidation, with the top 10 distributors in the U.S. independent automotive aftermarket (IAM) commanding 75% to 80% of the total market share. Europe is a distant second, at 30% to 35%, while China is at 5% to 10%.
      Roland Berger sees more consolidation ahead for parts suppliers and service providers (mechanical and collision). Going forward, there won’t be as many opportunities for large retailers to acquire distributors, Freitas asserted.    
      “Therefore, if one of those big companies has a hiccup over the next 12, 13 years, we see as a chance of two of those top four or five players actually merging and becoming an even larger player,” Freitas added.
      Labor Availability
      Looking at the big picture, U.S. unemployment rates were at historic lows in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic escalated in early 2020, it skyrocketed. Since then, the unemployment rate has been declining steadily. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in March dropped to 3.6%.
      Neal and Freitas showed two charts that don’t bode well for the future of the IAM. One chart showed a steady decline in the number of students completing postsecondary degrees for automotive repair since 2010. The other chart showed the imbalance between the supply and demand of technicians since 2010. While the technician shortage is nothing new, the gap between supply and demand is projected to widen in 2025 and beyond.
      Freitas concluded: “If the industry does not really get organized, we don’t think this problem is going to get solved anytime soon.”
      Supply Chain
      The headline here is that China appears to be losing its cost advantage – even without tariffs.
      For the past decade or so, if you wanted to manufacture products on the cheap, China was the obvious destination. However, when you factor in the rising costs of outbound freight, raw materials, manual labor and other variables, China will lose its cost advantage to Mexico as soon as this year. By 2035, due to the projected increase in China’s labor costs, it will be significantly cheaper to manufacture goods in Mexico compared to China, according to Roland Berger.
      Not surprisingly, Roland Berger projects that the percentage of U.S. auto parts manufactured in Mexico will grow from 24% in 2020 to 31% in 2035.
      Data Access
      By 2035, nearly 100% of new vehicles sold in the United States will be connected, meaning they’ll have the capability to receive and transmit information. Extrapolated to the total U.S. vehicle parc, 66% of vehicles will be connected.
      How we get to that point – and how it will affect the IAM – is less certain. Currently, the automakers control most of the data generated by vehicles, which is bad for consumers, bad for IAM suppliers and good for the OEMs. In the medium term, Roland Berger anticipates a shift to open APIs (application programming interfaces) and “mixed control” of vehicle data.
      In the long term, a move toward open APIs and open data would be best for IAM suppliers. However, where we land will likely be determined by federal lawmakers and the OEMs.
      Action Steps
      In light of the study’s findings, Neal and Freitas outlined a number of potential steps that IAM suppliers could take.
      “In terms of individual responsibilities, there’s the importance of reviewing the portfolio and product strategy,” Neal said. “As you look at the influx of new technologies, both in terms of electronics, battery-electric vehicles, ADAS and autonomous, how are you adjusting your portfolio to adapt to those and what is the strategy you have, whether that be a last-man-standing strategy or looking for a third leg in terms of other opportunities, or the development of an EV strategy to attack some of the new opportunities that are coming out?”
      Regarding the technician shortage, Neal also emphasized the importance of supporting trade schools “as well as supporting of advocacy at the high school and the middle school level for robotics programs and mechanical programs to ensure the interest of that technician force of the future, as well as an industry-level support for new entrants and opportunities, supporting aspects such as augmented reality and remote support for technicians in the field to allow some of those newer solutions to support a broader labor force in the future in terms of the capability set in technology.”
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    • By Counterman
      In the past, the lack of end-of-life batteries meant that the Li-ion (lithium-ion) recycling market had little opportunity to prosper. The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is changing this, IDTechEx says in a recent report. Recycling enables countries to domesticate battery material supply, hedge risks of fluctuating metal prices, and reduce reliance on unsustainable mining practices. Various stakeholders across the value chain are upping recycling capacity to prepare for the mass availability of valuable end-of-life Li-ion batteries due to supply, regulatory and environmental motivations.
      It seems that recovering valuable material by recycling Li-ion batteries is a no-brainer. However, the reality is more complicated, IDTechEx says. The profitability of recycling is dependent on EV-battery trends and whether OEMs will play a role in facilitating circularity in the battery supply chain.
      The economics of recycling primarily depends on three factors: Li-ion battery chemistry; metal prices; and process costs, which are expected to decrease as recyclers scale. There’s a lot of variety between the chemical composition of EV batteries, particularly in the cathodes. The demand for higher energy density in EV batteries is causing a shift toward higher-nickel cathodes. However, the desire to drive battery costs down favors lower-value LFP cathodes – which some OEMs have recently switched to for their entry-level models. This is likely to impact the value of metals that recyclers can extract from end-of-life
      EV batteries.
      The most value can be extracted from LCO cathodes due to their high cobalt content, but these are typically used in consumer electronics, which will account for a small percentage of Li-ion batteries recycled, and it’s challenging to develop collection networks for them. In the new IDTechEx report, “Li-ion Battery Recycling Market 2022-2042,” the recycling value of each cathode type is compared. IDTechEx has investigated these trends and their impact, alongside metal price, to evaluate the economics of the Li-ion battery
      recycling market.
      OEMs are often subject to Extended Producer Responsibility regulations, meaning they are responsible for EV batteries when they reach their end of life. Therefore, it’s in the OEMs’ best interests to develop efficient, economic routes for waste end-of-life batteries, and the environmental credentials associated with recycling also are beneficial.
      Volkswagen is developing a vertically integrated recycling and second-life business through “Volkswagen Group Components” and commissioned a pilot plant for recycling Li-ion batteries in 2021. Differing from most EV OEMs, Renault operates a battery-hire scheme on three of its models, as well as full ownership options. Renault optimizes the end-of-life management of its EV batteries using second-life applications and recycling with partners, such as Veolia. Tesla claims to be developing a battery recycling system at its Gigafactory in Nevada, having relied on third-party recyclers in the past, and BMW has formed strategic partnerships with recyclers, seeking to design cells with recycling in mind, says IDTechEx.
      Involvement of these major OEMs looking to boost the sustainability of their EVs reflects the anticipation of the part Li-ion battery recycling will play in the future value chain. Not only are the OEMs likely to carry a legal responsibility for end-of-life Li-ion batteries, but the trends they influence also will impact the profitability of recycling. In addition to creating partnerships with recyclers from other sectors, OEMs themselves are acting and investing in their own processes and supply circularity.
      IDTechEx has identified nearly 90 battery recyclers globally and observed that most of the current recycling capacity is in China. In 2021, there was a deficit in the number of Li-ion batteries available for the recycling capacity, presenting a market imbalance. Timing growth with end-of-life battery availability will be one of the biggest challenges that recyclers will face, and battery manufacturing scrap is likely to facilitate an increase in capacity before EV batteries begin reaching their end of life.
      The post
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    • By Silvia
      Can someone please help me out to identify to which car/model does these round vents belong to?
      Thanks in advance 

    • By Fargo Auto Electricals
      We are exporter & distributer of auto electricals parts in different countries. 
      We distribute auto spare parts in egypt, nepal, bangladesh, bhutan, india, and sudan
      Contact Us
      : link hidden, please login to view : +91-9811035835 : [email protected] : link hidden, please login to view
    • Shop AutoPartsToys.com for all Your Car, Truck and SUV Accessories at Direct Factory Warehouse Pricing
    • By Counterman
      Vehicle recalls are critical to the safety of our customers, our families and our delivery drivers each time they get behind the wheel. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or a vehicle manufacturer determines that a safety risk is present in a vehicle, a recall is issued, alerting vehicle owners to the potential danger. From there, it’s up to the manufacturer to come up with a solution to the problem, and to make that solution available to vehicle owners free of charge.
      Recalls cover a wide range of faults, and some are more obvious than others. One of the most well-known and wide-reaching modern safety recalls is the current Takata airbag recall, affecting more than 67 million vehicles in North America. Defective airbag inflators in Takata-equipped vehicles can cause injury or death when they explode during deployment. Other recalls have become the stuff of legend, like the Ford Pinto’s “exploding” gas tank in the 1970s, or the Toyota Camry and Mazda 6 models that were infested with spiders in the 2010s … yes, SPIDERS!
      Whatever the cause, once a safety issue is identified, it’s quickly made public to the consumer. Even if the manufacturer doesn’t have a remedy yet, registered owners are notified that a problem potentially exists in their vehicle. This interim notice gives the consumer a prompt heads-up that a problem has been identified, explains the nature of the recall, and reassures them that they will be notified when a solution is available. In the meantime, manufacturers may issue warnings not to operate the vehicle, or to carry passengers, if the defect is severe. Some manufacturers involved in the Takata recall have issued warnings to their customers advising them not to drive the vehicle until recalls have been completed.
      Recalls can affect a vehicle at any time in its lifecycle, but for new vehicles, recalls must be completed before the initial retail sale. For vehicles with critical recalls, the manufacturer also may issue a “STOP SALE” directive, in which affected vehicles on dealership lots are not sold until the recall repair is performed. There is no federal law governing the sale of “open recall” USED cars, but most states have statutes against car dealers offering these vehicles for sale. Private sales are not restricted.
      Manufacturers work closely with NHTSA and state motor vehicle departments to identify and contact owners of affected vehicles. In New York, our annual safety and emissions inspection certificate includes a notification of any open recalls found for the VIN being inspected. The open recalls don’t affect the outcome of the inspection, but it’s a convenient way of notifying owners of their safety status.
      When a recall remedy is available, the consumer can arrange with their local dealership to have the repair performed free of charge. In some instances, if a consumer has previously paid to have a repair performed, and that condition later becomes a recall, the manufacturer may reimburse the cost of the prior repair. Sounds like yet another good reason for our customers to hold on to their receipts!
      While vehicle recalls don’t really affect the aftermarket, product recalls of consumer goods are a common occurrence. Tires, fire extinguishers and child safety seats are all categories that have been subject to recalls in recent years. Aftermarket manufacturers also may determine that a batch of their product does not meet their minimum standards, or a design or manufacturing defect poses a possible safety risk. In these cases, the manufacturer will issue a bulletin “recalling” certain part numbers or production runs of their product. Additionally, some aftermarket parts like tires and wheels, brake hoses, mirrors and lighting are required to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, as issued by NHTSA. When these products are identified, the affected merchandise usually is returned for credit to your DC, and then sent back to the manufacturer for analysis and/or disposal.
      Recalls sometimes can be difficult for the general public to understand. We all give our fair share of advice over the counter, but we are NOT lawyers, and this article does not constitute legal advice. If your customers want more information about a vehicle recall, or to check the recall status of their vehicle, they can access the manufacturer’s website, or reach out to NHTSA at
      link hidden, please login to view with their VIN. NHTSA also has Safercar mobile apps available for iPhone and Android users. The post
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