Lang Aftermarket iReport: Service bay product growth by outlet
“The light vehicle service bay population has declined over the past five years despite a 30 million surge in cars and light trucks on U.S. roads.
“Nevertheless, the shrinking number of service outlets has managed to keep pace with the growth of Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) product sales in the U.S. However, not all major types of repair outlets achieved equal product growth per bay.”
— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport
Service Bay Product Sales
Substantial differences exist in the annual product volume per bay among the five leading types of car and light truck repair outlets: Service Stations & Garages, Vehicle Dealers, Repair Specialists, Foreign Specialists and Tire Stores.
DIFM Market Changes
The light vehicle service bay population fell by approximately 6,000 between 2013 and 2018, as total DIFM product sales soared more than $12 billion at user-price.
As a result of the greater light vehicle product volume generated by fewer service bays, substantial changes occurred in annual product sales per bay during this five-year span. These changes in bay product volume varied across the major types of light vehicles repair facilities.
Service Stations & Garages Increase Bay Sales
Service Stations & Garages averaged $78,000 in 2018 product sales per bay. Service Stations & Garages were third among the five largest groups of repair facilities in 2018 product volume per bay, but they posted a strong 20% average product sales gain per bay between 2013 and 2018.
Dealers operated the second largest number of light vehicle service bays during 2018.
However, they ranked next to last among the five largest repair groups in per-bay product volume during 2018, at $67,000. This reflects the use of some Dealer bays for warranty work, which is not included in this aftermarket product analysis.
Repair Specialists focus on a limited array of light vehicle repair jobs. Their bays averaged $87,000 in 2018 product sales, up nearly $12,000 over 2013.
Repair Specialists operated 13% of the light vehicle service bays in the U.S., but generated nearly 23% of light vehicle 2018 DIFM product sales, reflecting their bay productivity.
Foreign Specialists focus on the repair of foreign nameplates, including Transplants and Imports. They averaged the highest 2018 product volume per bay in the U.S., an estimated $99,000.
Foreign Specialists recorded 10% of DIFM product sales, while operating a lower share of the nation’s light vehicle service bays. This underscores the high rate of product sales per bay achieved by Foreign Specialists.
Tire Stores averaged the lowest 2018 product volume per bay among the five largest groups of light vehicle repair outlet, an estimated $64,000.
Despite operating 12% of car and light truck service bays in the U.S. last year, Tire Stores generated just over 9% of light vehicle 2018 DIFM product sales.
This reflects their use of bays for Tire sales and Tire related repairs, which are not part of this product analysis.
Foreign Specialists averaged the highest product gain per bay from 2013 to 2018, with over 21% growth, followed by Service Stations & Garages with a 20% product sales gain per bay.
Repair Specialists ranked third with a 16% product increase per bay for 2013 to 2018, followed by Dealers with a 15% gain per bay. Tire Stores recorded the lowest per-bay product growth, up 11% between 2013 and 2018.
Six Major Takeaways
- To keep pace with the increasing car and light truck population, the shrinking number of service bays in the U.S. have become more productive. In meeting these DIFM market challenges, major types of repair outlets have varied significantly in their annual product growth per bay.
- Repair Specialists increased product sales per bay by 16% between 2013 and 2018 and generated 23% of 2018 light vehicle product sales.
- Foreign Specialists recorded the largest increase in product sales per bay over the past five years (2013 to 2018), up 25%.
- Service Stations & Garages operated the largest number of bays, but ranked third in average annual product volume per bay during 2018 among the five largest groups of repair facilities.
- Vehicle Dealers were next to last among the five largest groups of repair outlets in 2018 volume per bay. This reflects the use of some Dealer bays for activities other than aftermarket repair (such as warranties). Tire Stores averaged the lowest 2018 per-bay product volume.
- Foreign Specialists averaged the highest product growth per bay between 2013 and 2018, up 21%, followed by Service Stations & Garages with a 20% gain. Repair Specialists ranked third with a 16% increase, followed by Dealers who were up about 15% and Tire Stores with an 11% gain in per-bay product sales over this five-year span.
Copyright 2019 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.
NOTE: Special thanks to publisher Jim Lang for granting us permission to publish the Lang Aftermarket iReport.