COVID-19 has merely sped up the transformation of the independent automotive aftermarket. It’s not something in distant future anymore, because tomorrow starts just one day after today. Are you ready for it?

The CLEPA Aftermarket Conference is in the focus for automotive industry professionals. Having this in mind, Wolk after sales experts partnered with Boston Consulting Group to create a study about the near future of European Aftermarket – in year 2030. The main source of for this study were in-depth interviews with both industry executives and service operators, more than 600 of them in total. “The study has identified 13 key trends driving the change in the Aftermarket in current decade”, says Zoran Nikolic, Managing Director at Wolk after sales experts.

There’s not a single solution…

Unsurprisingly, some of the trends work against each other while other reinforce another ones. For example, the European car parc is slowly growing and aging which on the face of it, it’s best possible news for the Independent Aftermarket. Yet, at the same time European drivers cover less miles per year and that downward trend was visible already well before COVID restricted both short and long-distance travels. Similarly, the average price of parts is rising, but the demand for parts may soon be dropping as more and more Electric Vehicles will show on the roads. Those vehicles need less parts to be maintained. If you think at least the crash repair segment won’t be affected by described changes, think again. EVs may be more expensive to fix after a crash, but with all new safety technology becoming mainstream equipment of cars, the number of accidents will go down.

“With the topic of extending MV BER European regulations open and increasing technical complexity of the vehicles, the Vehicle Manufacturers seem to be better positioned to gain market share on the Aftermarket in current decade. But independent operators have shown impressive resilience in the history even when intra channel frictions are probably not to avoid. For example, the offer of wholesalers private-labelled parts sharpens the competitive environment and the tensions between IAM manufacturers and distributors caused by the concentration process. Our hope is that the reactive strategies for defending the current positions will not dominate in the next time instead of going proactive for new partnerships for the development of new whole-market-oriented and customer-centric market approach using new technologies” says Zoran Nikolic Managing Director at Wolk after sales experts.
The aggregate growth of the European Aftermarket in by the end of this decade could reach 25%. This prediction means on average lower growth than in previous decade but also it won’t be enough just to grow with the market as it was possible before. Today only those focused on growth can gain the market share (local or regional) and avoid the pressure of consolidation. In the study there are possible strategies provided for both automotive parts manufacturer and distributors.

…but any solution requires data, market research and business intelligence

“Another solution is a data-driven growth strategy, with more emphasis on market research and business intelligence. “Knowledge is power” – it has never been more true than in today’s digital world. At Wolk after sales experts we are already working on providing you real-time data from the market along with existing AFTER SALES ACCESS monitoring sales of over 6500 distributors around the world. With data sourced directly from the workshops, we can create an aftermarket benchmark to compare your sales to and adjust your local activities accordingly”, explains Antti Wolk, Managing Director at Wolk after sales experts.

“At the Crossroads: The European Aftermarket in 2030” study by Boston Consulting Group, CLEPA and Wolk after sales experts is available for free download here.