Getting Your Fair Share?

Getting Your Fair Share?

Import OEs have aggressive wholesale programs that are designed to steal business away from you. What are you doing to stop it?

Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with Dana Underhood Group President John Washbish. I was conducting an interview that you’ll get a chance to read on www.counterman.com in a few weeks.

During that interview, John asked me a question that he wanted me to ask you: Are you getting your fair share?

Specifically, what percentage of your business is in foreign nameplate parts? John says it’s one question that he and several others at Dana have been asking, and no one has come up with a good answer.

The reason John is concerned boils down to mathematics. Very few parts stores can claim that the import parts market makes up more than 15 percent of a store’s overall business. Considering the number of import vehicles in the United States, you’d think that number would be closer to 20 or 25 percent. Since a third of the vehicle registrations in North America are foreign cars, why wouldn’t a third of your parts sales be for foreign cars? Where is that difference between 15 and 33 percent?

I’ll tell you where those dollars are going: straight to the dealership parts department. If you look at the Professional Automotive Repair Technician Survey Sales Supplement you received with your September issue, you’ll notice some strange things when it comes to certain part categories. We’ve noticed (and so has Dana) that certain parts for foreign cars, particularly electronics and fuel injection, are sourced through the OE dealer.

Why is this? Why do your professional customers feel that the typical aftermarket import parts supplier parts fall short of the OE equivalent?

For whatever reason, technicians are fanatics about fit, form and function when it comes to import nameplate parts. Aftermarket manufacturers are wrestling with the answer, but I think part of it rests with the stores themselves. Much of the sales burden falls on your shoulders. Many OEs such as Honda, Volkswagen, Subaru, Saab, Volvo and Nissan all have aggressive wholesale parts programs that are stealing business from you. These programs offer perks like factory technical assistance, special pricing programs, custom publications and delivery.

Don’t let these guys eat your lunch. Go after that import nameplate business with the same aggressiveness that they are. After all, you should be getting your fair share.

Correction: The aforementioned Professional Automotive Repair Technician Survey Sales Supplement included an incorrect statement. On page 22, the fourth sentence of the analysis should have read: "Taking all criteria into consideration, this is one product category where a low price matters less than it did even a year ago. Last year, more than 14 percent of respondents indicated that price was of major concern when sourcing reman calipers. This year, the price-conscious crowd dropped to a mere 5.8 percent of respondents."

You May Also Like

Will Surging Gas Prices Hurt The Aftermarket?

The jolt to miles driven – a key indicator for the aftermarket – remains to be seen.

Editor's note: This column appears in the June issue of AMN/Counterman.

As of today (June 15), the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States is $5.01, according to AAA. That’s up from $4.47 a month ago.

Remember the good old days? A year ago (from June 15), the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $3.076 – a great time to fill ‘er up, compared to today.

Online Ordering Isn’t A Fad

Online sales in the automotive aftermarket continue to grow.

What Will the ‘COVID-Era Consumer’ Do in 2022?

The beauty of the automotive aftermarket is that the economic conditions always seem to work in the industry’s favor.

Online Shopping
Right To Repair, Trade Associations And You

In the fight for Right to Repair legislation, aftermarket trade groups can’t do it alone.

Veterans Can Be Heroes Off the Battlefield Too

Veterans bring an incredible amount of value to the civilian workplace, in terms of nontechnical and technical skills.

Veterans and Vehicles

Other Posts

What’s Really Driving The Automotive Aftermarket’s Growth?

NPD’s Nathan Shipley looks at the many moving pieces contributing to the industry’s recent spike in demand.

aftermarket growth
Strength In Numbers

The automotive aftermarket is filled with great people. In fact, many say it’s our strong suit.

Teamwork automotive aftermarket
Never Stop Learning

With so much internet-based training content available, it’s never been easier to expand your knowledge base.

Continuing Education
Welcome To 2035 – What Things Might Look Like

The future is what we make it. We need to start addressing technology now so 2035 becomes a bright future.

Future of Transportation