November 6, 2023

3 major trends rise to the top at AAPEX 2023

What does the future hold for the aftermarket? At this year’s AAPEX expo, the Clarios team observed three trends that will undoubtedly shape our industry moving forward.
AAPEX 2023
By Troy in Product Portfolio
By Matt in Consumer & Category Insights
By Rebecca in Marketing & Technical Services

What does the future hold for the aftermarket? At this year’s AAPEX expo, the Clarios team observed three trends that will undoubtedly shape our industry moving forward. Knowing the impact these key trends will have, it’s essential to get ahead of the curve and begin planning for what’s ahead. 

1. Electrification & Aftermarket Opportunities
The rise of EVs and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) is impossible to ignore. According to Department of Energy statistics, electric platforms currently make up 8.6% of new vehicle sales. A total of 972,000 EVs were sold in the US in 2022, up from 652,000 the year before. That said, there have been some concerns around the charging infrastructure and consumers hesitating to go all-in on EV. 

While full adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles may not be right around the corner, legacy Tier 1 suppliers are formulating new business strategies to navigate the transition. Looking ahead, electrification and ADAS are poised to remain significant growth drivers. Suppliers, including Clarios, welcome the opportunity for growth. As a technology leader in advanced, low-voltage power systems, Clarios is taking an adaptable approach that will allow us to quickly align our portfolio with customer demands.

2. Aftermarket Resilience 
Regardless of market conditions, the automotive aftermarket has been counted on for consistent growth. Even during recessions, such as the subprime mortgage crisis and dot‐com bubble crash, demand for aftermarket services remained steady. For suppliers, the key is being able to adapt to change while continuing to serve current market demands.

The aging car parc is a major factor. Knowing that older vehicles require maintenance to stay on the road, demand for aftermarket products and services isn’t going away overnight. The question is, how will the market continue to support consumer demand as market dynamics shift? Suppliers who take advantage of the eventual transition from ICE to EV will be in the best position for sustained growth. 

3. Right to Repair 
Right to Repair is a growing issue in the automotive world. As vehicles become more technologically complex, servicing them follows suit. The goal behind Right to Repair legislation is to give consumers a choice over where, when, and who services their vehicle. It’s only fair.
Unfortunately, OEs are not currently mandated to share data and diagnostic capabilities with the aftermarket. This will have serious long-term consequences. According to Auto Care, there will be a $92B impact on the independent aftermarket by 2035. To level the playing field, 46 members of Congress are sponsoring the Repair Act. The plan is to get this bill to a vote. Clarios continues to support this bi-partisan initiative for its passage as a federal law. 

Final takeaways
While the road to EV adoption will continue to evolve, and the car parc continues to age and grow, the aftermarket remains resilient. If this year’s AAPEX is any indication, those who adapt their portfolio to what’s ahead, while continuing to serve current market demands, will experience the smoothest path to success.