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 complete.
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 the move.
Hope to see you at AAPEX or SEMA.
S. Scott Shriber is publisher of Counterman magazine.