New analysis from NPD Group shows that the automotive aftermarket is continuing its current growth streak. According to David Portalatin, executive director, automotive aftermarket industry analyst, key indicators such as miles driven and good weather trends are keeping the industry on its upward climb.
“Looking at the automotive aftermarket industry, the overriding fundamentals remain: people are driving more, the weather is favorable for maintenance and appearance and the industry has experienced dollar growth for each month of 2015 thus far. Whether it is an aging vehicle or brand new car, the categories supported by these vehicle segments are experiencing strong growth*,” Portalatin wrote in his most recent report.
Dollar sales of performance chemicals, a category traditionally driven by aging vehicle maintenance, grew 6 percent in August. Complete fuel system cleaners grew 8 percent – a major contrast to what has been seen over the past year, NPD says. Other top growing segments include power steering fluid, oil stabilizers and brake cleaners, which contributed a combined $1.2 million in growth to the category.
Unit sales reached 17.5 million for new cars in the 12 months ending August 2015**, the highest level since 2005, which could be driving growth in the appearance chemicals category (+5 percent). This category includes scratch removers (+18 percent), detailers (+15 percent), carpet/fabric care (+13 percent), and protectants (+5 percent).
Up 12 percent, the air fresheners category ranked No. 1 for dollar volume growth in August, according to NPD research. Vent/clip-on fresheners grew 21 percent and contributed the bulk of the dollar growth.
Items within the refrigerants and accessories category were heavily promoted all summer. The category overall experienced an 11 percent lift in dollar sales. In particular, A/C charging kits grew 12 percent and contributed nearly half of the total dollar volume gains for the category in August.
“Old, new, clean, cool … Regardless of what phase your vehicle is in, a positive story continues to be told for various automotive aftermarket categories,” Portalatin wrote.
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service, 4 weeks ending Aug. 29, 2015 versus same weeks in 2014
**International Business Times: ‘August 2015 US New Auto Sales: Americans Shrug At Global Market Volatility, Buy Cars At The Highest Pace In A Decade’