The Auto Channel
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The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
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Independent Aftermarket Gaining Ground on Dealers for Service Capacity

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 15 --- While new car dealers have lost roughly 25 percent of their service capacity in the past 12 years as a result of a decline in service bays, the independent aftermarket has added nearly 200,000 service bays during the same period, according to a new market research report from the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

The Aftermarket Jobber Report, one in AAIA's new four-part Aftermarket Distribution Trends Series reveals that since 1989, the number of new car dealers with service bays and the average number of service bays per dealership have shrunk resulting in a loss of 75,000 service bays, from 296,000 to 221,000. During the same 12 year period the number of service bays at auto parts stores has increased 70 percent and general repair shops have added 35,000 bays.

``This in-depth benchmark survey drills deep into U.S. retail businesses that sell automotive products to consumers and assesses trends in how these products are distributed,'' said Alfred L. Gaspar, AAIA president and CEO.

``More than 70 percent of the motoring public relies on the independent aftermarket to manufacture, deliver, sell and install automotive parts and accessories. This perspective reinforces why it's so important for our association to continue to fight legislative and regulatory battles such as SB 1146 in California and HR 2735 ''The Motor Vehicle Owners Right To Repair Act`` here in Washington which ensure that independents will continue to have the ability to provide competitive and effective repairs for late model vehicles equipped with mandated on-board diagnostic II computers,'' said Gaspar.

The ``Aftermarket Distribution Trends Series'' is an in-depth four-report series covering distribution channels for 32 automotive products and a comprehensive guide to major trends in 22 aftermarket distribution channels for the past 15 years. Each report covers total outlets in each channel and those handling automotive products, chain and independent outlets, type of service, extent of automotive line, service bays operated and establishments handling automotive products analyzed by four census regions.

Aftermarket Chemicals and Fluids Report: A report on distribution channels for motor oil, antifreeze, fluids, additives, maintenance chemicals, radiator chemicals, appearance chemicals, body repair and touch up paint and liquid paint.

Aftermarket Parts and Components and Tire Report: A report on distribution channels for tires, batteries, filters, spark plugs, engine electrical, belts and hoses, engine accessories, brakes, exhaust, steering and suspension.

Aftermarket Jobber Report: A report on total number of jobber outlets with analysis of 32 types of products handled, bays operated, counter vs. self service, affiliation with program groups, trends in dollar volume by product category and outlets by four census regions.

Aftermarket Accessories Report: A report on distribution channels for wiper blades and refills, headlights and miniature bulbs, mirrors and reflectors, security accessories, heating and cooling, trays, ornaments and air fresheners, floor mats, seat covers, sound equipment, abrasives, mechanics' hand tools and power tools.

For information about the series and to order copies, contact Dan Kaplan at 301-654-6664, ext. 1038 or click on the front page button at .

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is a Bethesda, Md.- based association whose member companies manufacture, distribute and sell motor vehicle parts, accessories, tools, equipment, materials and supplies. The organization is comprised of manufacturers, distributors, jobbers, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturer's representatives and other companies doing business in the automotive aftermarket. AAIA formerly served the aftermarket as APAA and ASIA.