The assumption than 2021 will be better than 2020 was something assuming for all aftermarket players and even for all people around the world. But 2021 is being challenging and the market is facing some difficulties not easy to solve.
One time the lock down disappear, the mobility restriction had been remove, the pandemic is in the way to be under control and almost out our live, the “normal live” is reaching and reaching more space. The automotive industry recovery is facing a lack of raw material, semiconductors, increase of transport cost, etc.. that are having big impacts in the recovery speed.
Doing the analysis from aftermarket point of view, we should clearly differentiate 2 types of players,
- The car manufacturer and their dealers have a deficit of new cars to be sold/delivery, this lack of new registration is bringing in the short term less cars for maintenance, less cars for body repair and taking the effect to keep the old car for more time giving the benefit of this to the independent aftermarket.
- IAM players, the lack of parts, the difficulties for some products finding the part in the market and the problems are facing some parts manufacturer, together with the price increase of the raw material in bringing a situation not easy to manage, product price increasing (in some product lines 2-3 times already in 2021), problems to repair cars with the frustration of the driver or/and with a car immobilized in the garage waiting the part is delivered, garage forced to start buying to other suppliers a part of the regular ones, other garage took the decision to buy brands that they are not buying regularly via to solve the delivery problems.
Any player of aftermarket is out of these problems and each of them are looking for solution in different manner.
Another important point to underline about the activity recovery, is how different is from one company to another company, always the market has different behaviours and not all companies have the same increase or decrease, but the mini-maxi we observed in the pass is nothing to do with the dispersion we are noting during 2021, we find companies that already recover the 2019 volume even some of them are increasing sales vs 2019, and at the same time we see companies that are more or less in the same level of sales than 2020, that show a really slowly speed in the recovery.
These problems together with the different speed in the activity recovery could have effects in the 2020 panorama, the weak will be weaker, and the strong will be stronger, causing a volume concentration in those companies that after the hard period of Covid become better companies and are reinforced. In this line, buying groups, big groups of car manufacturer dealers, branded garage, etc.. are the profiles where the Covid will leave less aftermath.
It is time to look to the future and not to look back.