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Growth Streak Continues for Automotive Aftermarket

Sales up for performance chemicals, car-care products, air fresheners, more

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. --  Old, new, clean, cool … Regardless of what phase a vehicle is in, a positive story continues to be told for various automotive aftermarket categories, according to The NPD Group. Air fresheners NPD automotive aftermarket

Looking at the automotive aftermarket industry, the overriding fundamentals remain: people are driving more, the weather is favorable for maintenance and appearance, and the industry has experienced dollar growth for each month of 2015 thus far.

Whether it is an aging vehicle or brand new car, the categories supported by these vehicle segments are experiencing strong growth.

  • Old Car. Dollar sales of performance chemicals, a category traditionally driven by aging vehicle maintenance, grew 6% in August. Complete fuel system cleaners grew 8%, a major contrast to what has been seen over the past year. Other top-growing segments include power steering fluid, oil stabilizers and brake cleaners, which contributed a combined $1.2 million in growth to the category.
  • New Car. Unit sales reached 17.5 million for new cars in the 12 months ending August 2015, the highest level since 2005, which could be driving growth in the appearance chemicals category (+5%). This category includes scratch removers (+18%), detailers (+15%), carpet/fabric care (+13%) and protectants (+5%).
  • Clean Car. Up 12%, the air fresheners category ranked No. 1 for dollar volume growth in August. Vent/clip on fresheners grew 21% and contributed the bulk of the dollar growth.
  • Cool Car. Items within the refrigerants and accessories category were heavily promoted all summer. The category overall experienced an 11% lift in dollar sales. In particular, a/c charging kits grew 12% and contributed nearly half of the total dollar volume gains for the category in August.

The NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y., provides market information and business solutions for areas including apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, technology, toys, video games and watches and jewelry.

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