Lang Aftermarket iReport: Independent repair product share peaks
“Over 3,000 Dealers closed across the U.S. following the 2008 Great Recession, creating an unprecedented opportunity for Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlets to expand their share of the rapidly growing Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) light vehicle repair market.
“In the wake of this dramatic Dealer decline, the Independent Do-It-For-Me aftermarket enjoyed six years of significant repair market growth. However, the expanding total repair market share of Independent repair outlets has played out and Dealers have staged a steady recovery in the car and light truck DIFM market.”
— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport
Six Major Independent Repair Outlet Groups
There are six major groups of Independent (non-Dealer) DIFM light vehicle repair outlets across the country: Service Stations & Garages, Repair Specialists, Foreign Specialists, Tire Stores, Discount Stores/Mass Merchandisers with bays, and Auto Parts Stores with bays.
Expanding Dealer Product Share
Dealers steadily expanded their repair market share in the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s, reaching 26% of 2000 DIFM light vehicle product volume.
Dealers continued to increase their DIFM share during the next seven years, peaking at over 27% of 2007 light vehicle DIFM product sales and topping $19 billion in product volume at user-price.
Dealers added nearly $4 billion to their DIFM annual product volume at user-price during this period.
Dramatic Impact of the 2008 Recession
The Great Recession of 2008 hit the aftermarket like nothing before. In just four years, approximately 3,000 Dealers closed across the country, shuttering more than 36,000 Dealer service bays.
This created a repair market vacuum that Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlets rapidly filled, dramatically increasing their repair market share and product volume.
Dealers Plunge in DIFM Strength
The shock of the 2008 Great Recession quickly reduced Dealers’ repair capacity as thousands of Dealers closed, opening the way for Independent (non-Dealer) outlets to record unprecedented DIFM light vehicle repair growth.
Dealer bay repair product sales plunged more than $2 billion at user-price between 2007and 2014, as Independent (non-Dealer) outlets expanded their total sales more than $12 billion.
Independent Outlets Hit Peak Share
Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlets peaked at nearly 79% of DIFM light vehicle product volume during 2013 and plateaued at that level the following year.
Independent outlets began to decline in 2015 DIFM share, with 2019 marking a five-year decline in their total car and light truck product share.
Despite the falling total share of Independent repair outlets, some groups of Independent repair outlets increased their repair market share during this period and the total product volume of Independent repair outlets climbed during 2015 through 2019.
Preliminary 2019 DIFM Estimates
Lang Marketing’s preliminary estimates of 2019 DIFM light vehicle product share indicate that Independent outlets lost approximately 90 basis points of share (just under 1%) compared to 2014.
The growing market share of Dealers has boosted their product sales by more than $3 billion at user-price during 2015 through 2019. Although the total share of Independent repair outlets declined during this period, they achieved nearly a $10 billion gain, in total, in light vehicle product repair volume.
Six Major Takeaways
- Lang Marketing tracks six major groups of Independent (non-Dealer) light vehicle DIFM outlets: Service Stations & Garages, Repair Specialists, Foreign Specialists, Tire Stores, Discount Stores/Mass Merchandisers with bays, and Auto Parts Stores with bays.
- After more than two decades of steady light vehicle repair market growth, Dealers’ DIFM product share peaked at more than 27% during 2008, reaching $19 billion in annual product volume through their bays at user-price.
- The 2008 Recession abruptly changed the aftermarket product sales trajectory of Dealers with the closing of approximately 3,000 Dealers and the elimination of more than 36,000 Dealer service bays.
- As Dealers declined in DIFM share (following the 2008 Recession), Independent (non-Dealer) outlets filled this repair market vacuum, steadily increasing their car and light truck DIFM product volume.
- Following a six-year run, Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlets peaked at nearly 79% of DIFM light vehicle product volume during 2013 and plateaued at that level the following year.
- Reversing the flow of repair business from Dealers to Independent repair outlets that had occurred between 2008 and 2014, Dealers expanded their service bay product sales by more than $3 million during 2015 through 2019. Despite their receding market share, Independent outlets managed to increase their repair market product volume by nearly $10 billion at user-price during this five-year period.
Copyright 2020 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.
NOTE: Special thanks to publisher Jim Lang for granting us permission to publish the Lang Aftermarket iReport.