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Under the Hood - US - February 2010

This report explores how and where automotive parts in the front end of the vehicle are sold. It provides insight into the external and internal factors affecting sales, consumption, and trends, and what they mean for future sales, promotional campaigns, and industry innovations. Specific questions that are answered in this report include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What effects do rising gasoline costs and the economic downturn have on the overall market
  • What are the channels in which automotive parts and service are sold directly to the consumers
  • How has the decline in the number new car dealerships affected the service and repair component of those businesses
  • How are companies taking advantage of shuttered dealerships with hopes of turning them around into branded service and parts operators
  • How are companies highlighting the service component of their facilities and what incentives and promotions are they innovating to put themselves ahead of the competition
  • What are the leading aftermarket parts being sold and what are the dynamics that are leading to sales
  • What media are industry leaders using to deliver effective marketing campaigns, and what actions need to be taken to improve visibility
  • Where are consumers taking their car for service and repair and what components of their car are being serviced or repaired the most
  • How are consumers researching service and repair options online and what promotions and incentives are most effective in influencing their choices
  • How has the do-it-yourself movement affected consumers and what aspects of home repair are consumers taking care of the most

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Data sources
        • Consumer survey data
          • Advertising creative
            • Abbreviations and terms
              • Abbreviations
                • Terms
                • Executive Summary

                  • U.S. new car dealership units in freefall, suffering severe unit losses in 2009
                    • New car dealerships expanding service, repair component of businesses
                      • Independent repair shop repairs cost significantly less than at dealerships
                        • AutoZone dominates aftermarket auto parts market
                          • Increase in vehicle recalls generates more activity for service operators
                            • Fewer highway miles travelled may create less reliance on maintenance
                              • Car sales plummet as consumers maintain older cars, benefiting service
                                • Consumer survey findings
                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                  • Pursue former or current Toyota owners by stressing quality control
                                    • Use text messaging to connect with customers when vehicles in shop
                                      • Shift marketing of new models from engine power to electronic capability
                                      • Inspire Insights

                                          • Trend: Simplicity and Convenience
                                            • Convenience means far more ease and portability
                                              • Service outlets will benefit by allowing convenience to start from home
                                              • Service Performance

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Male respondents more likely than females to repair or service own vehicle
                                                      • Figure 1: Where vehicles are serviced/repaired, by gender, Nov-Dec. 2009
                                                    • Respondents under age 45 most likely to repair, service own vehicles
                                                        • Figure 2: Where vehicles are serviced/repaired, by age, Nov-Dec. 2009
                                                      • Automotive dealerships most popular for service among households earning $100K+
                                                          • Figure 3: Where vehicles are serviced/repaired, by household income, Nov-Dec. 2009
                                                      • Service Performance—New Car Dealerships

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • U.S. new car dealership units in freefall, suffering worst unit losses in 2009
                                                            • Figure 4: Number of U.S. new car dealerships, 2000-09
                                                          • New car dealerships expanding service, repair component of businesses
                                                          • Service Performance—Independent Shops

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Independent repair shop repairs cost significantly less than at dealerships
                                                                  • Figure 5: Consumer satisfaction with dealership service departments, non-dealership shops, 2004-08*
                                                              • Service Performance—Chains

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Overview
                                                                    • Walmart Tire & Lube Express
                                                                      • Goodyear Gemini Automotive Care
                                                                        • Firestone Complete Auto Care
                                                                          • Midas Auto Service
                                                                            • Sears Auto Center
                                                                              • Meineke also approaching rejected dealerships
                                                                                • Top U.S. oil change-plus chains
                                                                                  • Figure 6: Top 50 U.S. oil change-plus chains, by store units, March 2009
                                                                              • Aftermarket Retail Chains

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • AutoZone dominates aftermarket auto parts market
                                                                                    • Top aftermarket chain outlets
                                                                                      • Figure 7: Top 20 U.S. aftermarket chain outlets, companies by store count, 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 8: Top 20 U.S. aftermarket chain outlets by total store count, 2004-09
                                                                                  • Do-it-Yourself

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Majority of respondents not working on cars; men are most likely to DIY
                                                                                        • Figure 9: Home repair/service choice, by gender, Nov-Dec., 2009
                                                                                      • Batteries, filters are the most commonly purchased replacement parts
                                                                                          • Figure 10: Vehicle components repaired/serviced at home, by gender, Nov-Dec., 2009
                                                                                        • Operators can sell expertise to budget-minded, DIY consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 11: AutoZone ad, 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 12: NAPA Auto Parts Stores, 2010
                                                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                                                          • Right to Repair Act poised to give independent operators repair advantage
                                                                                            • Increase in vehicle recalls generates more activity for service operators
                                                                                              • Fewer highway miles travelled may create less reliance on maintenance
                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Consumer vehicle miles traveled, all U.S. roads and streets, 1998-2008
                                                                                                • Car sales plummet as consumers maintain older cars, benefiting service
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Total sales* at new car dealerships, at current prices, 2003-09
                                                                                                  • Service and parts revenue dropping slightly for new car dealerships
                                                                                                      • Figure 15: U.S. sales at new car dealerships, by segment, 2005 and 2007
                                                                                                  • Components Serviced

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Overview
                                                                                                        • Engine parts
                                                                                                          • Brakes
                                                                                                            • Auto fluids and chemicals
                                                                                                              • Exhaust
                                                                                                                • Batteries
                                                                                                                • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                  • GM reaches out to owners of shuttered brand with service opportunities
                                                                                                                    • Ford pushes service centers outside dealerships; extended hours pay off
                                                                                                                      • Recession opportune time to build expanded, luxury service facilities
                                                                                                                      • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                        • Online retailing, social media allows dealerships to sell, promote parts
                                                                                                                          • Dealerships benefit from Mopar online store
                                                                                                                            • Toyota launches website, membership program to boost parts sales, service
                                                                                                                              • Web coupons have further reach, less expensive, than traditional print mailings
                                                                                                                                • eBay gives parts operators opportunity to reach global consumers, unload inventory
                                                                                                                                  • Parts often marketed with masculine edge, high technology imagery
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: E3 Spark Plugs ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Recession becomes an opportunity to talk about preventive maintenance
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Parts Plus ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Castrol GTX High Mileage ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Confidence in delivery system key to promoting online parts ordering
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: National Parts Depot, 2010
                                                                                                                                • Nature of Work Repaired/Serviced

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Preventive maintenance the reigning type of work performed at shops
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Nature of work done on vehicle for last repair/service, by gender, Nov-Dec.2009
                                                                                                                                      • Respondents aged 45 and over most likely to come in for preventive work
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Nature of work done on vehicle for last repair/service, by age, Nov-Dec.2009
                                                                                                                                      • High-income households more likely to pursue preventive maintenance
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Nature of work done on vehicle for last repair/service, by household income, Nov-Dec.2009
                                                                                                                                      • Model Year of Car Repaired/Serviced

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Model years 2005-09, 2000-04 most likely to be serviced
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Model year of car last repaired/serviced, by gender, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Youngest respondents are most likely to repair/service older cars
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Model year of car last repaired/serviced, by age, Nov-Dec.2009
                                                                                                                                          • Households earning $100K or more most likely to service newest models
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Model year of last car repaired/serviced, by household income, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Factors Influencing Repair Shop Choice

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Quality of service, history with facility two reigning reasons for shop choice
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Factors influencing repair shop choice, by gender, Nov-Dec.2009
                                                                                                                                                • Quality and history with a facility biggest draw for respondents aged 45+
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Factors influencing repair shop choice, by age, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • History, quality best draws households with incomes starting at $50K
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Factors influencing repair shop choice, by household income, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Impact of Online Research

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • 77% of respondents did not bother to research service shop online
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Online research components used when researching service/repair choice, by gender, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Respondents younger than 35 more likely to go online to research repairs
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Online research components used when researching service/repair choice, by age, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Households with highest incomes favor customer testimonials
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Online research components used when researching service/repair choice, by household income, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Car Component Repaired/Serviced

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Filters and brakes are components most commonly repaired or serviced
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Car component repaired/serviced, by gender, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Respondents aged 25-34 have work done on multiple vehicle components
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Car component repaired/serviced, by age, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Households earning highest incomes more likely to have filters replaced
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Car component repaired/serviced, by household income, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Hispanic respondents most likely to do vehicle work at home
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Where vehicles are serviced/repaired, by race and Hispanic origin, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Asian respondents most likely to get preventive maintenance for vehicles
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Nature of work done on vehicle for last repair/service, by race and Hispanic origin, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Blacks most likely to bring in 2000-04 model cars for service and repair
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Model year of car last repaired/serviced, by race and Hispanic origin, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Asians most likely to stress quality, history in choosing repair shops
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Factors influencing repair shop choice, by race and Hispanic origin, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • White respondents most likely to not research repair/service shops online
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Online research components used when researching service/repair choice, by race and hispanic origin, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Asian respondents most likely to have filters, batteries repaired/serviced
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Car component repaired/serviced, by race and hispanic origin, Nov-Dec 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                • Researchers
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Dealers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Indie Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Under the hood clusters, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Factors influencing repair shop choice, by under the hood clusters, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Reasons for choosing repair shop by under the hood clusters, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Preferred online components used when researching service/repair choice, by under the hood clusters, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Car component repaired/serviced, by under the hood clusters, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Under the hood clusters, by gender, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Under the hood clusters, by age group, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Under the hood clusters, by household income group, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Under the hood clusters, by race, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Under the hood clusters, by Hispanic origin, November 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Alliance Of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • General Motors Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hyundai Motor America
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Jaguar Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lithia Motors, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • McKinney
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Independent Automobile Dealership Association (NIADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sanyo North America Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Department of Transportation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Volkswagen of America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                        Under the Hood - US - February 2010

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