The car aftermarket in 2030: ACES to ashes?
There have been many changes in the European car market over the past few years that have had knock-on impact on the aftermarket. New car sales have recovered since the crisis years, but remain volatile, with current prospects looking less favourable. A number of governments have implemented measures to encourage customers to replace their older more polluting vehicles with more environmentally friendly new ones, or have toughened up their condition testing regimes. The average annual distance driven by the typical car has grown slightly recently, at least in some markets. All these factors have already had, and will continue to have consequences for both the size, age structure, and fuel type split of the circulating car parc.
In parallel to these structural changes, some aftersales operators are now having to deal with changes being brought about by the 'ACES' (i.e. Autonomy, Connectivity, Electrification, Sharing schemes), and there is no doubt that as these technologies become mainstream, all types of repairers will face new investment needs in technician skills and training, plus equipment, if they are to remain competitive in tomorrow’s aftermarket. But ultimately, the aftermarket impact of the ‘ACES’ will largely depend on the growth path of these technologies into the total car parc, as well as on the willingness of customers to change their mindset from exclusive usage of their owned vehicle, towards some of the emerging alternatives.
As well as questioning the potential number of ‘ACES-equipped' vehicles in operation in the future, what will their impact be on the different aftersales segments, mechanical repair and maintenance (R&M), and crash repair?
Will the impact of autonomy mainly be felt in the volume and value of jobs in the crash repair segment?
How will R&M be affected; will we see the emergence of new, significant and sustainable revenue streams related to sensors and / or camera replacement or (re) calibration?
How will connectivity affect the balance of power between different types of aftermarket operator? Can we expect connectivity also to have an impact on job volumes or values in the R&M market too? Should we also assume that drivers will be prepared to have their car serviced and repaired more frequently because they have been 'made aware' of problems, malfunctions, or inspection requirements?
Will the growth of car-sharing schemes displace individual car ownership, reducing the total number of cars on the road, but increasing the R&M needs of the shared cars that are used more intensively?
This workshop looked at these different topics and drww on facts and figures from a range of desk research, expert interviews, and modelling outputs, focusing on six major European markets: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and the UK.
We were also delighted to be joined by Knut M. Breivik from the NBF (Norwegian Dealer Association) who shared his experience on how the growth of EVs has impacted the Norwegian aftermarket.
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