More than half of drivers buy automotive spare parts on the Internet!

The automotive sector is in turmoil and after-sales service is no exception. Whether initiated or undergone, the revolutions experienced by each manufacturer require appropriate preparation and continuous analysis of future trends. Missing a step can have very important consequences for the entire value chain. The Deloitte study “What future for automotive aftermarket?” identifies the key themes that will enable all players to be ready today for tomorrow’s changes.

The 8 trends that will influence the growth of automotive aftermarket

1. The connected vehicles

By 2025, 100% of new cars and 47% of the global vehicle fleet will be equipped with integrated connected systems and services. There are many business opportunities related to connected vehicles: predictive maintenance, early defect detection, infotainment, or on-board services. The opportunities to retrofit the existing “unconnected” fleet with connectivity solutions are also considerable. In addition, car manufacturers are the only ones able to position themselves on a proposal that combines consumer data and vehicle usage to protect the aftermarket for the self-employed and open up new revenue opportunities.

2. e-Commerce

E-Commerce will generate additional B2B and B2C revenues throughout the after-sales chain. With the rise of the Internet, consumers are increasingly tempted to use the digital channel for their purchases and the automotive aftermarket will be no exception to this rule. Indeed, even if most purchases are made offline, more than 7 out of 10 drivers initiate their online purchases. In 2017, 35% of drivers in France sometimes bought their car spare parts on the Internet, and 16% did so most of the time.

3. The shared mobility and autonomous vehicles

Shared mobility and autonomous vehicles will attract new customers and raise questions about current aspects of the private vehicle. Indeed, the use of mobility services is increasing enormously, especially in urban areas. Deloitte has estimated that 19 million people use public transport to move towards shared mobility. Autonomous and shared mobility will increase the overall utilization rate per vehicle, which implies a potential growth in the size of the maintenance and services market. However, the reduction of car accidents, an added value of empowerment technologies, will have a negative impact on the aftermarket.

4. New consumer expectations

New consumer habits are emerging that affect the entire automotive sector: Generation Y is increasingly asking itself whether or not it needs to buy a vehicle, consumers are buying more products and services online, and are looking for ultra-personalization and lower prices.

Spare parts and accessories can no longer be considered as silos but must be fully integrated into the customer experience. This must be improved as much as possible, starting with ensuring that the customer can find the right spare part at the right time and in the right place. Then, the catalogue must be enriched to perfect the offer of original equipment and encourage personalization. This implies a greater flexibility and better performance in the storage and delivery of spare parts and accessories.

5. Electric vehicles

Consumers are increasingly opting for hybrid and electric vehicles: by 2030, they are expected to account for 46% of new vehicle sales in Europe. Addressing the aftermarket of electric vehicles requires a higher level of technical expertise, giving car manufacturers a significant advantage. In addition, the potential decrease in parts associated with electric vehicles (approximately 30% fewer parts compared to combustion engine vehicles) should be offset by customer retention and additional services.

6. Global and urban policies to reduce CO2 emissions

In order to reduce car-related CO2 emissions, all major urban centres are trying to discourage the use of combustion-powered vehicles through a mix of incentives and regulatory objectives. A potential decrease in demand for parts and accessories likely to generate higher emissions and a potential increase in demand for parts and accessories likely to reduce emissions can thus be observed in the automotive aftermarket. However, this also offers new business opportunities for emerging technologies, such as the flexible fuel “Flex fuel”.

7. 3D printing

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing techniques open doors to new methods of designing parts and accessories for cleaner, lighter and safer products produced in a shorter time and at a lower cost. By 2030, 80% of collision repair parts and 60% of mechanical parts will be able to be printed in 3D. More generally, 3D printing can reduce the production costs of some components by 60%.

8. The blockchain

The use of blockchain in the automotive industry opens up many opportunities to transform products, services and processes. It offers an innovative approach to information management and transaction execution where accuracy and reliability are paramount.

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