DIY is fading in the aftermarket as cars become more complex

DIY is fading in the aftermarket as cars become more complex

Posted: by Stericycle on Dec 13, 2019

As cars become more complex, motorists who would at one time have tried their hand at maintaining their own vehicle are relying on experts to keep their cars in top shape.

That said, independent garages continue to hold rank as the preferred option for consumers looking for replacement parts. It is estimated that 41% of replacement parts are sourced from independent garages (Mintel: Car Aftermarket UK, November 2019). However, we believe that is set to change.

Investment in advertising has been in decline since 2015 which has undoubtedly aided the buoyancy of independent garages. OEMs and manufacturer franchise dealers have - until now - focused their communications strategies on improving car sales. However, these same big players have realised the potential they have to grow aftermarket sales and are recalibrating their aftermarket sales strategies in 2020.  

Earlier this year, we conducted a UK wide piece of research into what motorists really want from a maintenance and service provider, and the feedback pointed towards a desire for a better relationship.

While cost and convenience still had a clear place in the narrative, the main takeout was that motorists - irrespective of age, gender or geographical location - want to feel that their investment is in a safe pair of hands which they can trust to provide the best service to suit ever-changing lifestyles.

As vehicles become more complex owing to the wave of ground-breaking technology, consumers no longer have the choice of opting for a DIY approach. They look to service providers to take on that responsibility – but it has to be on their terms and above all, they have to be kept in the know. Why? Because they are keeping their cars for longer.

As of September 2019, only 33% of cars were under three years old, 32% were 3-6 years old, 16% were 7-10 years old and 18% were over 10 years. This is a large potential customer base, uninhibited by PCP or the servicing plans they would have been privy to when they first bought their vehicle. They are either about to or have already entered the aftermarket and are prudent in their approach. They are well researched and know what good looks like.

And while independent garages remain an attractive solution to many, there is an opportunity for OEMs to win over these motorists simply by communicating with them at key moments in time.

OEMs are already making significant gains using predictive marketing technology to give motorists what they need and we expect this to be a continuing trend.

At Stericycle Expert Solutions we know that the aftersales market is constantly evolving because we do our research.  

You can read more about how consumers are influencing the automotive aftermarket in our RPM insights reports  You will be surprised to read how simple it is to win back business.