Market Insights with Mike

New Industry Indicators Suggest Trend Toward Stability

October 5, 2020 – 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.

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“Finishing the Fight” Amidst Continued Uncertainty of COVID

August 28, 2020 – 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. I’m seeing the same “pull yourself up” determination and adaptation throughout the automotive aftermarket and I’m loving it. Despite the ongoing uncertainty of the economy, the aftermarket continues to be resilient and adaptive to constant change. In this issue, we highlight some seasonal sales observations, how shop owners are working with their contacts in the distribution system to fulfill end customer needs, and updated results from our COVID-19 impact survey.

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Aftermarket Trends in China Amidst COVID-19

August 10, 2020 – 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.

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Signs of Another Challenging Spell for the Auto Care Industry and Economy at Large

July 9, 2020 – 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.

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COVID-19 Disrupting Supply Chains for Half of Auto Care Industry; Legal Considerations for Operations

May 29, 2020 – 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.

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Updated Macroeconomic and Impact Trends

May 7, 2020 – 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.

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Pandemic Impact and Outlook on the Auto Care Industry

April 23, 2020 – In the inaugural edition of Market Insights with Mike, Mike Chung, director, market intelligence, Auto Care Association, highlighted trends in vehicle miles driven and launched a survey to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on the aftermarket. In this new piece, Mike highlights the results from the survey. 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 – passenger travel was on average 48% lower during the week of April 4-10 than the week of Feb. 22-29.

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Recent Trends in Vehicle Miles Driven During COVID-19

April 6, 2020 - 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.

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