June 8, 2015
After years of high gas prices, U.S. consumers are enjoying the lowest numbers at the pump since 2009. This has led to a 6% increase in gas consumption over the past 12 months; however, U.S. consumers spent $10 billion less on gas than they did one year ago. What does this mean for the Automotive Aftermarket? Pair the savings on gas with the climbing age of vehicles, and vehicle maintenance is once again a top priority among U.S. consumers. In fact, approximately 16% of U.S. consumers who own a vehicle agree that the money saved on gas will go towards vehicle maintenance (NPD Group, 2015).
Today, the average age of a passenger car/light truck in the U.S. is 11.3 years. This is a 14% increase over the age of all light vehicles on the road in 2007 (Cerasis, 2014), creating an ideal opportunity for service and repair. Consumers are more interested in the longevity of their vehicle than ever before, so automotive service centers should be prepared to provide customers with detailed information regarding their vehicle’s maintenance. As U.S. consumers keep their cars and trucks longer, the demand for Aftermarket parts will increase. Consistent messaging from the industry will help consumers make educated decisions about what components to replace and when. The best way to prevent costly system failure is to remember the Car Care Council’s recommendation. Start inspecting the serpentine, cooling and timing systems at 60K miles, and replace worn components by 90K miles or as advised by the manufacturer. For information on the Car Care Council’s recommendation of I60R90, and the inspection intervals of the cooling, timing and serpentine systems, please visit www.BeSystemSmart.com or click here.