HOPKINTON, Mass. — Automotive parts distributors and retail chains have settled into a pattern of sales expansion which is faster than the overall market demand, at near 5 percent per year. This contrasts sharply with double-digit growth enjoyed by these companies in the late 1990s when a large portion of new sales were achieved by acquisitions.
The financial composite of aftermarket distributors and retailers, compiled by Walden Consultants Ltd. showed an average yearly sales growth in 2002 and 2003 of more than 5 percent in current dollars – about 1.5 percentage points faster than the overall aftermarket. “In other words,” says Henry Allessio, managing director of Walden Consultants, “with major acquisitions of the late-1990s now integrated, the large aftermarket competitors are gaining share on others in the market. In aggregate they have slowly gained share position, giving serious participants a time to catch their breath and improve operating efficiencies.”
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