Lang Aftermarket iReport: Independent outlet sales per bay soar

“The light vehicle product sales by Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlets have soared approximately $12 billion in the past five years (2014 to 2019), at user-price. This Independent service outlet product growth was generated by greater volume per bay rather than by an increase in the number of Independent service bays.”

“The product volume per bay of Independent (non-Dealer) outlets has expanded at an average annual pace significantly stronger than the growth of total Do-It-Yourself (DIFM) products over the last five years.”

— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport

​Fewer Independent Service Bays

The total light vehicle service bay population has suffered a steady annual decline over the past five years, as the Independent (non-Dealer) car and light truck bay count fell by more than 2%.

The number of Independent (non-Dealer) light vehicle bays has receded from 886,000 during 2014 to an estimated 863,000 by 2019.

Shrinking Total Bay Share

The shrinking number of Independent service bays has reduced their bay share nationwide.

Independent (non-Dealer) bays represented 76% of all car and light truck bays across the country in 2014, falling to 75% by 2016. Independent (non-Dealer) outlets operated less than 73% of all light vehicle service bays during 2019.

DIFM Product Share and Sales

Independent (non-Dealer) bays generated $64 billion in product volume during 2014. By 2016, Independent bays rang up $67 billion in product sales and reached an estimated $72 billion in light vehicle 2019 DIFM product volume, at user price.

Nevertheless, Independent bays declined in DIFM product share over these five years.

Bays Top Outlets in Rate of Product Growth

Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlets expanded their car and light truck product volume per bay at a 3.1% average annual pace between 2014 and 2019, stronger than the 2.7% average annual product gain of total DIFM repair outlets over this five-year span.

Growing Product Volume Per Bay

Independent (non-Dealer) outlets expanded their average annual product sales per bay by more than $12,000 between 2014 and 2019.

Independent (non-Dealer) outlets averaged nearly $72,000 during 2014, increasing their per-bay annual product sales to over $76,000 by 2016. Independent (non-Dealer) bays averaged an estimated $84,000 in annual product volume per bay during 2019.

Independent (non-Dealer) product sales per bay climbed by 17% between 2014 and 2019, one-fifth more than the product percentage gain of the entire light vehicle DIFM market.

Independent Bay Sales Gain Speed

Independent (non-Dealer) bays expanded their DIFM average product volume at a faster annual pace between 2016 and 2019 than their yearly rate of total product growth over the previous two years: 3.2% versus 3.0%.

Six Major Takeaways

  • The Independent (non-Dealer) car and light truck bay population fell by more than 23 thousand over the past five years (2014 to 2019).
  • Despite their population decline, Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlet product volume climbed nearly $9 billion at user-price between 2014 and 2019.
  • Independent (non-Dealer) bays expanded their car and light truck DIFM product volume at a 3.1% average annual pace, stronger than the 2.7% average annual gain of the total DIFM light vehicle market. Independent repair outlets averaged $71,900 in 2014 product volume per bay, increasing to an estimated $84,000 in average bay sales during 2019.
  • The increase in Independent (non-Dealer) DIFM product sales was the result of greater product volume per bay rather than an increase in the number of service bays operated by Independent outlets.
  • Foreign Specialists and Repair Specialists achieved the greatest rate of product growth per bay between 2014 and 2019 among all repair outlets.
  • While product sales per bay by Independent repair outlets recorded substantial growth, their Purchased Service volume per bay climbed at an even faster annual pace.

Copyright 2019 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.

NOTESpecial thanks to publisher Jim Lang for granting us permission to publish the Lang Aftermarket iReport.