Lang Aftermarket iReport: Service bays crank up repair volume


“The car and light truck Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) market has increased at the same time that the number of service bays across the country has declined. In order for repair outlets to accommodate the steady growth of car and light truck DIFM repair, they had to increase products sales per bay.

“Over the past five years (2013 to 2018), the aftermarket Do-It-For-Me product volume has surged more than 15%, while the number of bays has fallen. As a result, product sales per service bay have climbed significantly.”

— Jim Lang, publisher, Lang Aftermarket iReport

Rising DIFM Vehicle Repair

Car and light truck Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) market products reached $78 billion at user-price during 2013, at user-price. Do-It-For-Me product sales climbed to $85 billion in 2010 and totaled more than $65 billion by 2016.

The 2020 Lang Aftermarket Annual, which will be published early in June, will provide complete analysis of 2018 DIFM product volume, which topped $90 billion at user-price.

Higher DIFM Volume, But Fewer Service Bays

Despite the significant increase in DIFM product volume between 2013 and 2018, something which would be expected to stimulate service bay growth, the number of service bays across the U.S. fell by 1%.

While DIFM products averaged approximately 3.0% in annual growth between 2013 and 2018, the service bay count moved in the opposite direction.

Surging Product Volume Per Bay

Rising DIFM product sales coupled with the shrinking car and light truck population caused an increase in the annual volume of aftermarket products installed per bay in the U.S.

Product sales per service bay surged approximately $5,000 per bay between 2013 and 2015, with another $6,100 in product sales added by the average service bay over the next three years.

Lang Marketing estimates that annual product volume for the typical service bay increased nearly $11,200, or 17%, between 2013 and 2018.

The 2020 Lang Aftermarket Annual, which will be published in several weeks, will provide detailed analysis of DIFM product sales, the number of service bays, as well as the rising product volume per bay.

3.3% Product Growth Per Bay

Despite the decline in average service bay volume during 2008 and 2009 (following the 2008 Great Recession), product sales per bay for cars and light trucks climbed at a 3.3% average annual pace between 2013 and 2018.

This annual product growth was greater than the average increase in total car and light truck product volume over this eight-year span.

The increasing DIFM productivity per light vehicle service bay in the U.S. has enabled the diminishing service bay population to keep pace with the rise in car and light truck maintenance and repair.

Opportunities Abound

For the diminishing number of service bays to keep pace with the steady rise in car and light truck DIFM repair, bays must continue to increase their productivity.

This presents a unique opportunity for Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers of Tools & Equipment to provide technicians with the ability to become more efficient and to increase their repair and maintenance production.

Companies that provide service bay management training and software, technician instruction, and vehicle repair data also have great opportunities as service bays strive to expand their production to meet growing repair and maintenance demands.

Six Major Takeaways

  • Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) light vehicle product sales surged over the past five years, climbing more than $12 billion at user-price.
  • Despite the increase in DIFM product volume, the number of service bays declined between 2013 and 2018.
  • With DIFM product sales climbing as the number of service bays declined, product volume per bay has increased significantly.
  • Lang Marketing estimates that the annual product volume of the typical service bay climbed 17% over the past five years.
  • As the total DIFM aftermarket product volume increased at a 3.0% annual average rate between 2013 and 2018, product sales per service bay soared at a faster 3.3% yearly rate.
  • Continued growth in product sales per bay will be necessary as the DIFM market climbs and the number of service bays across the country diminishes.

Copyright 2019 by Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.

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