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Increasing Age of Vehicles Sustains Growth in North American Brake Rotors, Drums, and Calipers Aftermarket

frost and sullivan

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--March 12, 2014: North American consumers are spending more on parts and service because they are keeping their cars and light trucks longer due to prolonged economic uncertainty. The increasing average age of vehicles – which currently stands at ten and a half years – will drive the aftermarket for brake rotors, drums, and calipers. Suppliers should still concentrate on maintaining and expanding market share as a wave of mergers and acquisitions is expected to heighten competition in the market.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (Frost Automotive), North American Brake Rotors, Drums, and Calipers Aftermarket, finds that the market earned revenue of $1.39 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $1.64 billion in 2020. Rotors account for approximately two-thirds of the total market revenue.

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"The decreasing service life of vehicle parts will support demand for brake components in North America," said Frost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Aftermarket Program Manager Stephen Spivey. "In particular, rotors wear quickly as they have become lighter and thinner and need to be replaced often."

The continuous entry of new stock-keeping units into the aftermarket is also increasing the potential of this market, as distributors add them to their inventories. In addition, manufacturers are raising the price of vehicle parts to cover the rise in cost of raw materials and transport, boosting market revenues.

However, large retailers in North America, such as AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts and O'Reilly Automotive, who exert significant power in the automotive aftermarket by virtue of their size and consolidated two-step distribution channel, are driving the migration to private-label brands. They are also putting pressure on manufacturers to reduce the prices of brake rotors, drums and calipers, and accept lower margins in return for market share.

The accelerating trend of consolidation among large distributors – as evinced by the recent acquisition of Carquest by Advance Auto Parts – is reducing the number of distributors in the market. This is intensifying the competitive pressure on manufacturers to make additional concessions in order to gain shelf space in the retail stores and stay in business. Manufacturers that are not aligned with one or more of the large retail or wholesale distribution groups will not be able to establish a strong presence.

"Manufacturers may, however, find increasing success using e-commerce sites like eBay and Consumers and installers are expected to purchase 10 percent of the total spare parts through such channels by 2020," noted Spivey. "Although these e-retailing sites lack the just-in-time logistical link that many service shops require, they enable shoppers to enjoy lower prices and a wider selection of products, which are key incentives driving traffic to Internet sellers of brake rotors, drums, and calipers in the North American aftermarket."

North American Brake Rotors, Drums, and Calipers Aftermarket is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related research services include: Strategic Analysis of the North American Class 6-8 Remanufactured Powertrain Components Aftermarket, Strategic Analysis of the North American Collision Parts Aftermarket, and Strategic Analysis of the North American Class 8 Used Truck Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.