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Foreign nameplates per service bay soar

Trend underscores need for all types of DIFM outlets to expand capabilities to repair foreign nameplate cars and light trucks, as numbers will top 50 percent of U.S. VIO in 2021

Fort Wayne, Ind.—The number of light vehicles per service bay in the U.S. has increased steadily over the past 10 years. However, foreign nameplate cars and light trucks per bay have climbed even faster,” according to Lang Marketing’s latest analysis.

“The light vehicle service bay count fell by 2 percent between 2009 and 2019. At the same time, the foreign vehicle population in the U.S. soared by more than 50 million,” the 2021 Lang Aftermarket Annual reports. “This caused the number of foreign nameplates per service bay to skyrocket.”

Below are some of the study’s findings:

Fewer Light Vehicle Bays

  • The number of light vehicle service bays in the U.S. at mid-year 2019 was down approximately 23,000 from 10 years earlier.
  • While Lang Marketing’s analysis of the 2020 service bay population will not be completed for a number of months, preliminarily findings reveal that the light vehicle bay count was hard hit by Covid-19 and its economic and social reverberations.

Rising Foreign Nameplate Population

Foreign nameplates averaged 36 percent of light vehicles in operation (VIO) during 2009s, and their share climbed to 42 percent by 2014. Foreign nameplates accounted for 48 percent of light vehicles in the U.S. by mid-year 2019.

Foreign Nameplates Surge

  • This surge in the foreign nameplate share of cars and light trucks between 2009 and 2019 represented a population gain of more than 50 million vehicles.
  • At mid-year 2009, foreign nameplates totaled 88 million, as their population climbed to 107 million by 2014.
  • Over the next five years, approximately 30 million foreign nameplates were added to the vehicle population. During 2021, they will top 50 percent of the nation’s VIO.

Soaring Foreign Nameplates Per Bay

  • While the number of all cars and light trucks per bay increased nearly 15 percent between 2009 and 2019, foreign nameplates per bay surged at a much faster pace.
  • At mid-year 2009, there were approximately 76 foreign nameplate cars and light truck for each service bay in the U.S. By 2019, the number of foreign nameplates per bay had climbed by nearly 60 percent.

120 Foreign Nameplates Per Bay

  • Lang Marketing estimates that there were approximately 120 foreign nameplate cars and light trucks for each service bay in the U.S. at mid-year 2019, a 58-percent surge over 10 years.
  • Preliminary findings by Lang indicate that there was a significant increase in the number of foreign nameplates per bay during 2020.

Repair Market Impact

  • More foreign nameplates per service bay in the U.S. has helped to increase their Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) share.
  • Domestic car aftermarket products will suffer nearly a 7.0 percent average annual drop in sales at user-price over this 15-year span.
  • It also underscores the need for all types of DIFM outlets to expand their capabilities to repair foreign nameplate cars and light trucks.

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