RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The total dollar amount of unperformed automotive maintenance in the U.S. dropped by nearly $20 billion in 2003, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). AASA’s 2004 Automotive Aftermarket Status Report notes that unperformed maintenance dropped from approximately $62 billion to $43.3 billion in 2003, due in part to consumers’ uncertainty about the country’s economy and their own jobs.
According to Frank Hampshire, AASA director of market research, there are several reasons why unperformed maintenance dropped including the consumers’ desire to invest in maintenance with an uncertain economic future, and a higher-than-normal rate of new vehicle sales which took many “maintainable” vehicles off the road and led to a more rapid rate of vehicle scrappage.
“When money is the only issue, for example in the months leading up to Christmas, car owners will neglect vehicle maintenance,” Hampshire said. “When their job or economic future is uncertain, on the other hand, consumers will maintain their cars to protect their investment and to make sure the vehicle remains in good running condition.”
The drop in numbers may also be a sign that the industry’s Be Car Care Aware consumer education program is working, Hamsphire noted. Vehicle owners may have become more aware of when and why their vehicle should be properly maintained.
While the rate of unperformed maintenance did drop in 2003, Hampshire also noted that the $40 billion in neglected automotive care remains a significant safety concern. Of the $43.3 billion in unperformed maintenance, the largest product segment in terms of dollars that is being neglected are tires ($4.4 billion in unperformed maintenance) and shocks/struts ($2.7 billion).
AASA’s 2004 Automotive Aftermarket Status Report is available for purchase. MEMA member companies can order additional copies for $125. Non-members may order the report for $500. Orders may be placed by calling 919-549-4800 or by emailing [email protected]
To learn more about MEMA and AASA, go to: www.mema.org.
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