Lang Aftermarket iReport: Service bay growth upped by foreign repair
“Service bay population gains in the U.S. over the past 10 years have been concentrated among Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlets with high rates of foreign nameplate repair growth.
“Bay population losses have been suffered by Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlet groups lagging in foreign nameplate repair. This service bay population trend will continue.”
– Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport
Fewer Service Bays
There were 28,000 fewer car and light truck service bays in the U.S. at mid-year 2018 than during 2008.
The service bay populations of major groups of Independent (non-Dealer) outlets have been substantially influenced by the soaring foreign nameplate aftermarket, which generated over 90% of Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) product growth over the past 10 years (2008 to 2018).
Outlets with Service Bay Growth
Repair Specialists (outlets focusing on a limited menu of repair jobs) added the most service bays between 2008 and 2018 and increased their total bay share.
The bay population growth of Repair Specialist reflects their expanding foreign nameplate repair activity.
Other Bay Gains
Foreign Specialists (outlets concentrating on the repair of foreign nameplates) recorded the largest service bay percentage gain over the past 10 years, adding more than 14,000 service bays.
Tire Stores also expanded their bay total during this period, as they increased their foreign nameplate DIFM market share.
Service Stations & Garages
Service Stations & Garages suffered the majority of the non-Dealer service bay losses between 2008 and 2018.
Despite increasing their overall DIFM product share over the past 10 years, Service Stations & Garages have continued to lag in foreign nameplate DIFM market growth.
Although Service Stations & Garages have increased their foreign nameplate repair, their volume is growing at a slower pace than the total foreign nameplate DIFM market.
Foreign Repair and Bay Growth
Repair Specialists, Foreign Specialists, and Tire Stores each increased their foreign nameplate DIFM product share between 2008 and 2018.
This has enabled these outlet groups to expand their bay populations, despite the nationwide shuttering of 28,000 light vehicle bays during these 10 years.
Service Bay Population Share Change
As the DIFM market will be driven by foreign nameplates over the next five years, the service bay populations of repair outlets will largely be determined by the foreign nameplate DIFM market success that each achieves.
Lang Marketing projects that light vehicle service bay populations will decline by approximately 9,000 during 2019 through 2023.
Only Repair Specialists and Foreign Specialists will increase their service bay counts significantly during this four-year period.
Each of these two outlet groups will achieve above-average foreign nameplate DIFM market growth during this period.
Six Major Takeaways
- Despite the falling number of light vehicle service bays between 2008 and 2018, three major Independent (non-Dealer) outlet groups, with strong foreign nameplate repair activity, each expanded their bay count.
- Repair Specialists (outlets focusing on a limited menu of service and maintenance) added the most bays during the past 10 years, reflecting their growing foreign nameplate repair share.
- Foreign Specialists (outlets concentrating on the repair of foreign nameplates) recorded the greatest bay population percentage gain between 2008 and 2018.
- Tire Stores climbed modestly in their service bay count over this 10-year span, largely assisted by their foreign nameplate repair gains.
- As the foreign nameplate Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) market expands at an annual rate many times faster than domestic nameplate DIFM activity over the next five years, the service bay growth of repair outlet groups will be largely determined by their foreign nameplate repair success.
- Lang Marketing projects two Independent (non-Dealer) repair outlet groups with the highest rates of foreign nameplate repair growth will add significant numbers of service bays over the next four years: Repair Specialists and Foreign Specialists.
Copyright 2019 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.
NOTE: Special thanks to publisher Jim Lang for granting us permission to publish the Lang Aftermarket iReport.