According to the latest issue of the Lang Aftermarket iReport, dated 1/12/15, there is an interesting paradox forming in our industry particularly on the service side. The opposing data from our friend James Lang of Lang Marketing will seemingly have a real impact on the do-it-for-me business moving forward.
“There were approximately 11,000 fewer service stations and garages repairing cars and light trucks during 2015 than 10 years earlier,” the Lang iReport stated.
That factor alone is worth serious consideration, but there is more.
“There were 3,900 fewer [vehicle] dealers in the U.S. at mid-year 2015 than 10 years earlier, an 18 percent population plunge,” the iReport said. “The diminishing number of dealers drove down their DIFM product share, as dealer DIFM product bay sales fell nearly $525 million at user-price between 2005 and 2015.”
Now, Lang notes that this may be mitigated by an increase in repair specialist outlets, outlets focusing on a limited menu of car and light truck services. The report notes that repair specialists “increased their market presence by 2,600 outlets between 2005 and 2015.” He goes on to note that during 2015, repair specialists replaced vehicle dealers as the second largest group of DIFM repair outlets across the U.S.
At the same time foreign specialists, focusing on work on so-called foreign nameplates, also climbed in number between 2005 and 2015, adding about 2,200 outlets to the service mix. Tire stores, too, achieved what was categorized as “a moderate gain” during the same period, helping to propel a $1.8 billion increase in their service market product volume.