Lang Aftermarket iReport: Nameplate age gap drives product differences

“The age gap is widening between the domestic and foreign nameplate segments of the light vehicle population in the U.S. The changes in annual new vehicle sales and nameplate mix over the past 12 years have shifted the average age growth of vehicles into overdrive, especially among domestic nameplates.

“At the beginning of 2021, domestic nameplates were 2.6 years older in average age than foreign nameplates. The increasing age gap between domestic and foreign nameplates and the surge in domestic nameplate average age are changing where each of these two nameplate groups is repaired and the types of products used to repair them.”

— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport

Soaring Domestic Nameplate Age

Domestic nameplates soared 2.7 years in average age across the U.S. between 2009 and the beginning of 2021. This was a full year greater than the average age gain recorded by foreign nameplates over this 12-year span.

Nameplate Mix of New Vehicles

Foreign nameplates have captured 55% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. since 2009, up from a mere 33% market share at the turn of the new millennium.

The robust sales share of foreign nameplates will continue, escalating the average age of domestic nameplates and increasing the number of domestic nameplates at least 15 years old.

Declining Dealer Repair of Domestic Vehicles

In the coming years, less work will be conducted by Dealers on the aging domestic nameplate population. This will shift more domestic vehicle repair to Independent (non-Dealer) service bays.

Falling OE Product Use on Domestic Nameplates

As the Independent (non-Dealer) outlets capture a growing share of domestic nameplate repair, OE brand use for domestic nameplate repair will fall and non-OE brand share will rise.

Secondary Impact of Older Domestic Nameplates

In addition to the increasing age of domestic nameplates expanding the Independent service bay product volume, the growing age of these vehicles will prompt their owners to seek more economical repair.

This has implications for the market share of repair outlets that handle domestic nameplates and the types of products that they use.

‘Value’ Product Use Increases in Domestic Repair

Older domestic nameplates in the U.S. are boosting the use of “Value” products and brands that provide acceptable levels of quality at lower prices.

Shifting Brand Share

In both the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) markets, “Value” products will expand their domestic nameplate aftermarket share over the next five years, keeping in step with the advancing average age of domestic vehicles and their growing numbers within older vehicle age groups.

Different Pattern Among Foreign Nameplates

Increases in the average age of foreign nameplate cars and light trucks in the U.S. will be significantly smaller over the next five years than domestic nameplate age growth, as foreign nameplates continue to command a dominant share of the new vehicle market.

Foreign Dealers and Foreign Specialists

Vehicle Dealers will capture a growing share of foreign nameplate repair. At the same time, Foreign Specialists will continue to expand their foreign nameplate DIFM market position.

Both of these outlet groups prefer to install OE brands, OE-Supplier brands, and an array of Foreign brands of aftermarket products.

‘Value’ Products and Foreign Nameplates

As a result, “Value” product use will not significantly increase its share of the foreign nameplate repair market over the next five years. However, surging foreign nameplate DIFM volume will boost the overall sales of “Value” products in that market segment.

The primary product shift in the foreign nameplate DIFM market will be an increasing product share captured by OE-Supplier brands and an array of Foreign brands.

Six Major Takeaways

  • The average age gap between domestic and foreign nameplates in the U.S reached 2.6 years at the beginning of 2021.
  • Dealers’ share of domestic nameplate repair will decline as the average age of domestic vehicles in the U.S. increases.
  • As Independent (non-Dealer) service bays capture an expanding share of the domestic nameplate DIFM market, OE brand share will decline in domestic nameplate repair.
  • The average age growth of domestic nameplates on U.S. roads and their growing numbers in vehicle age groups at least 15 years old are boosting the use of “Value” products in the domestic nameplate DIFM and DIY markets.
  • The large percentage of foreign nameplate repair conducted by Dealers and Foreign Specialists will promote the use of OE brands, OE-Supplier brands, and Foreign brands in the foreign nameplate DIFM aftermarket.
  • The primary change in foreign nameplate aftermarket brand use will be the increasing share of OE-Supplier brands, particularly among Independent (non-Dealer) service bays, and the share growth of Foreign brands.

Copyright 2021 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.

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