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Market Insights with Mike

  • December 15, 2021

    Positive Outlook for 2022 In Spite of Supply Chain and Labor Concerns In this year-end wrap-up, Mike Chung, director, market intelligence, Auto Care Association, highlights results of the 2022 Auto Care Outlook Study. We look at the top concerns across the automotive aftermarket based on member feedback. While aftermarket leaders are most concerned with supply chain/sourcing and worker recruitment/retention, the industry is overwhelmingly bullish in its outlook for 2022. This is a testament to the strong fundamentals - sustained high demand, an aging car parc - and the resilience and adaptability of the industry.

  • November 19, 2021

    Planning for the New Year Happy Thanksgiving! Can you believe it’s already that time of the year? Time has always been mysterious, and even more so throughout the pandemic. I had the pleasure of meeting several of you for the first time in Las Vegas a few weeks ago – thanks so much for making the effort to attend! As I walked the show floor and met people, a few thoughts ran through my head...

  • October 14, 2021

    Pricing Trends and Influences Amidst a Shocked Supply Chain In this edition of Market Insights with Mike, we look at recent trends in commodity prices, and how global supply chain disruptions continue to affect the automotive aftermarket. We'll give a preview of new data in TrendLens that will inform your business decisions as you navigate a continually evolving market, and point to a recent webinar where an industry-wide panel discusses how they have been looking at data in different ways since the pandemic started to adapt their corporate strategies and operations in real time.

  • July 22, 2021

    Use Weekly VMT to Predict Retail Impact This edition of Market Insights with Mike looks at weekly VMT for Independence Day from 2019-2021. This data is available in TrendLens as part of the Market View package. We also give examples of how the Pearson correlation coefficient - a new feature - is available for members who wish to compare two Economic and Industry Indicators to inform their market strategy.

  • July 8, 2021

    Vehicle Miles Traveled - Trends and Drivers In this article we look at VMT trends, particularly why Arity VMT has exceeded monthly USDOT VMT figures. We then discuss the reasons driving these discrepancies.

  • April 28, 2021

    On the Road Again VMT rose to a recent high in March 2021, but will the increased driving continue? Numerous external forces continue to impact consumer behavior amidst a fluid economy. This edition of Market Insights notes a few of these influencers, and shares data on selected industry indicators to shed light on various inputs that are affecting the automotive aftermarket and related industries.

  • March 4, 2021

    Navigate the Economic Snow Globe with Weekly Vehicle Miles Traveled Data Highlights of new features in TrendLens - weekly Arity Vehicle Miles Traveled, reference videos. Discussion of continued industry uncertainties and identification of disposable income as a possible leading indicator for automotive aftermarket retail sales in the context of emerging coronavirus relief stimulus.

  • February 5, 2021

    New Data Trends for 2021 In this blog, director of market intelligence Mike Chung highlights recent data to guide your trend-watching as 2021 finds its footing. Chung highlights manufacturing and logistics headlines, VMT and COVID-related trends, work/school from home stats, and other observations across the industry and society as a whole.

  • December 8, 2020

    2020: A Ride Like No Other Remember roller coasters? In the “Before COVID” (BC) era, I took my son and his best friend to Kings Dominion in Virginia every summer for a day at the amusement park. We didn’t go this year, but in a year with so many developments, who needs a wooden coaster for thrills? After all, 2020 is the ride with no apparent end in sight. To wrap up the year’s developments in the automotive aftermarket, I welcome you to the “Indicators Amusement Park” with more twists, turns, and drops than the Intimidator 305. Let’s start at the “Work/School from Home” area.

  • November 2, 2020

    Positioning for Advocacy in a Changing Environment As another election season comes and goes, there will be much discussion among pundits and politicos in the coming weeks about their predictions for the next two years (until the next election cycle). This edition of Market Insights with Mike focuses on cutting through the noise and instead examines the data most important to aftermarket professionals for continued success in an ever-evolving economy.

  • October 5, 2020

    New Industry Indicators Suggest Trend Toward Stability With the nation in the swing of Fall, it appears that some of the things we wondered about in the summer are being resolved, at least for now. Working on site (offices, manufacturing and warehouses, retail) is still at about half of pre-pandemic levels as pictured below.

  • August 28, 2020

    “Finishing the Fight” Amidst Continued Uncertainty of COVID About a year ago, the Metro DC area became enraptured with the Washington Nationals’ rise from seeming doom earlier in the season. “Finish the Fight” became the rally cry across the DMV.

  • August 10, 2020

    Aftermarket Trends in China Amidst COVID-19 In this issue, we turn our attention to China. As the world’s second largest economy, and one that has demonstrated rapid economic growth in recent decades, we conferred with Haisheng Chen, Chief Editor of AC Auto, a division of AC Qiche, a Shanghai-based business consulting specialist focused on the automotive retail and service sector, as well as Steve Ganster of YCP Solidiance, an Asia-focused strategy consulting firm, to learn more about consumer trends related to driving, maintenance, and vehicle purchase. While many trends parallel those observed in the United States, nuanced differences exist.

  • July 9, 2020

    Signs of Another Challenging Spell for the Auto Care Industry and Economy at Large We at the Auto Care Association hope that you and your families, loved ones, and colleagues enjoyed the recent holiday weekend and are doing well. This edition of Market Insights highlights recent trends in vehicle miles traveled that are encouraging, but perhaps offset by other statistics that loom as indicators of another rough patch for the U.S. economy and the aftermarket.

  • May 29, 2020

    COVID-19 Disrupting Supply Chains for Half of Auto Care Industry; Legal Considerations for Operations Since the onset of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, one question hanging over the industry and the economy has been, “Where is the bottom?” Over the past few weeks, it appears that the lowest level of vehicle activity is behind us. As charted below, vehicle travel has steadily crept back up:

  • May 7, 2020

    Updated Macroeconomic and Impact Trends As the industry has watched automotive travel stats, we have been keeping an eye on other economic indicators. It’s hard not to compare current indicators to the Great Recession of 2008. We have learned that the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) has dropped to 86.9 for April 2020 (the orange line in the chart below; down 34% from 130.7 in February 2020) – its lowest level since 2014, and at a steeper rate than in the 2006-2008 timeframe.

  • April 23, 2020

    Pandemic Impact and Outlook on the Auto Care Industry Passenger Travel Update In our inaugural piece, we highlighted trends in vehicle miles driven and launched a survey to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on the aftermarket. Survey results are highlighted below ( click here ). Traffic continues to stay at nearly 50% below their levels in late February. INRIX reports that the drop in vehicular traffic has flattened a bit in recent weeks – as pictured below, passenger travel was on average 48% lower during the week of April 4-10 than the week of February 22-29.

  • April 6, 2020

    Recent Trends in Vehicle Miles Driven During COVID-19 With millions of Americans working from home due to office and school closures, many in the industry are wondering about vehicle miles travelled (VMT) statistics – and rightly so! VMT statistics are correlated with the health of the aftermarket industry, and this makes intuitive sense – the more miles driven, the more that maintenance, repair, and replacement of vehicles will be required.

Seeking Industry Input in 2022 Outlook Study

The Auto Care Association released an industry-wide study to hear from businesses about their business outlook as the auto care industry heads into 2022. This study will provide valuable insights for a year-end wrap-up analysis of the association’s aftermarket industry data gathered throughout 2021 as well as provide insights heading into 2022 for a clearer snapshot of the state of the industry to its members.

The deadline to submit responses is Dec. 8, 2021.