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Auto Care Blog

  • March 4, 2021

    Navigate the Economic Snow Globe with Weekly Vehicle Miles Traveled Data Highlights of new features in TrendLens - weekly Arity Vehicle Miles Traveled, reference videos. Discussion of continued industry uncertainties and identification of disposable income as a possible leading indicator for automotive aftermarket retail sales in the context of emerging coronavirus relief stimulus.

  • February 23, 2021

    SIPS Group Turns 20 This past November marked the 20-year anniversary of the Society of Import Part Specialists (SIPS). We recently spoke to SIPS Coordinator Gary Garberg about this milestone, how the group has evolved through the growth of import nameplate vehicles and what’s in store for SIPS this year.

  • February 5, 2021

    New Data Trends for 2021 In this blog, director of market intelligence Mike Chung highlights recent data to guide your trend-watching as 2021 finds its footing. Chung highlights manufacturing and logistics headlines, VMT and COVID-related trends, work/school from home stats, and other observations across the industry and society as a whole.

  • February 2, 2021

    Happy New Year At the start of a New Year, many of us reflect back on the previous year while considering the promise and excitement that’s on the horizon. Last year didn’t leave us with many things we’re going to miss, but we have plenty of reasons to be hopeful for our future.

  • December 24, 2020

    A Message to Our Community If you’re like me, you’re probably ready to see 2020 disappear in your rearview mirror. It has tested us in many ways that none of us could have imagined. We’ve witnessed incalculable losses and, for some of us, these losses have hit far too close to home. While we may continue to wish for things to return to “normal,” the reality is that “normal” has been replaced and isn’t coming back any time soon – if ever.

  • December 8, 2020

    2020: A Ride Like No Other Remember roller coasters? In the “Before COVID” (BC) era, I took my son and his best friend to Kings Dominion in Virginia every summer for a day at the amusement park. We didn’t go this year, but in a year with so many developments, who needs a wooden coaster for thrills? After all, 2020 is the ride with no apparent end in sight. To wrap up the year’s developments in the automotive aftermarket, I welcome you to the “Indicators Amusement Park” with more twists, turns, and drops than the Intimidator 305. Let’s start at the “Work/School from Home” area.

  • November 2, 2020

    Positioning for Advocacy in a Changing Environment As another election season comes and goes, there will be much discussion among pundits and politicos in the coming weeks about their predictions for the next two years (until the next election cycle). This edition of Market Insights with Mike focuses on cutting through the noise and instead examines the data most important to aftermarket professionals for continued success in an ever-evolving economy.

  • October 28, 2020

    Meet a Staffer: Daniel Zenko Easily mistaken for the “world’s most interesting man,” Daniel Zenko, director, data innovation, brings a one-of-a-kind background with him to the Auto Care Association. Zenko joined the association in 2017 with the formation of its Data Innovation team, where he focuses on the development of TrendLens™ as well as serving as liaison for the Category Management committee. Read to find out which game Zenko has played and defeated Bill Gates in, and more!

  • October 5, 2020

    New Industry Indicators Suggest Trend Toward Stability With the nation in the swing of Fall, it appears that some of the things we wondered about in the summer are being resolved, at least for now. Working on site (offices, manufacturing and warehouses, retail) is still at about half of pre-pandemic levels as pictured below.

  • August 28, 2020

    “Finishing the Fight” Amidst Continued Uncertainty of COVID About a year ago, the Metro DC area became enraptured with the Washington Nationals’ rise from seeming doom earlier in the season. “Finish the Fight” became the rally cry across the DMV.

  • August 10, 2020

    Aftermarket Trends in China Amidst COVID-19 In this issue, we turn our attention to China. As the world’s second largest economy, and one that has demonstrated rapid economic growth in recent decades, we conferred with Haisheng Chen, Chief Editor of AC Auto, a division of AC Qiche, a Shanghai-based business consulting specialist focused on the automotive retail and service sector, as well as Steve Ganster of YCP Solidiance, an Asia-focused strategy consulting firm, to learn more about consumer trends related to driving, maintenance, and vehicle purchase. While many trends parallel those observed in the United States, nuanced differences exist.

  • July 17, 2020

    Meet a Staffer: Michael Chung As the director of Market Intelligence, Chung leads the association’s market research and is charged with bringing relevant insights to its members. “Our goal is to be recognized as the thought leader and go-to resource for the aftermarket,” said Chung. In light of the recent COVID-19 crisis, Chung launched a new blog series on the autocare.org website titled, “Market Insights with Mike,” which provides members with regular updates about the latest trends and insights on the impact of COVID-19 on the auto care industry.

  • July 9, 2020

    Signs of Another Challenging Spell for the Auto Care Industry and Economy at Large We at the Auto Care Association hope that you and your families, loved ones, and colleagues enjoyed the recent holiday weekend and are doing well. This edition of Market Insights highlights recent trends in vehicle miles traveled that are encouraging, but perhaps offset by other statistics that loom as indicators of another rough patch for the U.S. economy and the aftermarket.

  • May 29, 2020

    COVID-19 Disrupting Supply Chains for Half of Auto Care Industry; Legal Considerations for Operations Since the onset of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, one question hanging over the industry and the economy has been, “Where is the bottom?” Over the past few weeks, it appears that the lowest level of vehicle activity is behind us. As charted below, vehicle travel has steadily crept back up:

  • May 7, 2020

    Updated Macroeconomic and Impact Trends As the industry has watched automotive travel stats, we have been keeping an eye on other economic indicators. It’s hard not to compare current indicators to the Great Recession of 2008. We have learned that the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) has dropped to 86.9 for April 2020 (the orange line in the chart below; down 34% from 130.7 in February 2020) – its lowest level since 2014, and at a steeper rate than in the 2006-2008 timeframe.

  • April 23, 2020

    Pandemic Impact and Outlook on the Auto Care Industry Passenger Travel Update In our inaugural piece, we highlighted trends in vehicle miles driven and launched a survey to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on the aftermarket. Survey results are highlighted below ( click here ). Traffic continues to stay at nearly 50% below their levels in late February. INRIX reports that the drop in vehicular traffic has flattened a bit in recent weeks – as pictured below, passenger travel was on average 48% lower during the week of April 4-10 than the week of February 22-29.

  • April 6, 2020

    Recent Trends in Vehicle Miles Driven During COVID-19 With millions of Americans working from home due to office and school closures, many in the industry are wondering about vehicle miles travelled (VMT) statistics – and rightly so! VMT statistics are correlated with the health of the aftermarket industry, and this makes intuitive sense – the more miles driven, the more that maintenance, repair, and replacement of vehicles will be required.

  • April 2, 2020

    Meet a Staffer: Sara Greene Determination and dedication—two words that can summarize what Sara Greene brings to her personal life and the Auto Care Association. In her short time since joining the association as the director of membership, Greene has dug in deep “down in the trenches” with her team to identify ways to enhance the Auto Care membership experience.

  • January 27, 2020

    Meet a Staffer: Frank Feng What began as a career in electrical engineering for Frank Feng quickly turned into an unexpected and newfound passion for computer science during his first internship. Fast forward to his career at the Auto Care Association and he's now developed the Demand Index Platform from the ground and built Business Intelligence reports, integrating and leveraging big data into meaningful analysis for decision making.

  • September 30, 2019

    Meet a Staffer: Larry Northup If you don’t already know who Larry Northup is, you might be new around here. Larry Northup has been with the association for 19 years and has become a familiar name and face to many members throughout the industry. “I spend a lot of time communicating with members by phone, email and whenever possible, face-to-face.”