Hello from the offices of Counterman magazine.
As we head into the automotive aftermarket’s busiest season,I want to
reflect on how lucky we are to be in this great industry and how good
things really are. As is the case every year, there will be a huge
gathering of this industry in Las Vegas and the vibe will be very
positive. I wish we could say that about the rest of the economic news.
A few pessimistic souls might be thinking: “What is there to be so
positive about?” The very foundation of what we do creates positive
results for all of us and the overall economy. The U.S. economy today is
largely a consumer-driven one. When you and I spend money, it keeps
things moving. The automotive aftermarket is a $224 billion industry,
and those dollars not only keep our economy going, but the services
those dollars pay for keep the cars and trucks of the U.S. going.
The good news for us is that the miles traveled in the U.S. remains at
about the 3 trillion mark. That figure has remained relatively stable as
of late and that means repairs continue to be needed. When motorists
drive their cars, they break and we get to repair them.
While new vehicle sales are affected greatly by numerous economic
events, our industry continues to experience solid growth over the
long-term. Even in the past few years, we steadily grew at about 3 to 4
percent. This stability allows suppliers to reinvest in technology and
distribution that improves all of our day-to-day activities.
Another variable working in our favor is the average age of vehicles on
the road today. The average age of cars on the road is at an all-time
high 11 years of age. Light truck age has experienced one of the largest
jumps in years. The average age of a light truck is now at 10.1 years,
giving a combined total average age of 10.5 years. Older vehicles being
driven lots of miles add up to increased potential repairs for all to
While other industries and economists fret away over the current
financial news, we should focus on our business and take advantage of
all the strengths we have. The automotive aftermarket keeps America on
Hope to see you at AAPEX or SEMA.
S. Scott Shriber is publisher of Counterman magazine.