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$30 billion rebound for DIFM is largest ever recorded

Parts and labor volume of DIFM light vehicle market increased during 2021 and 2022 following the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19

Fort Wayne, Ind.—Parts and labor volume of the Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) light vehicle market increased by $30 billion during 2021 and 2022, at user-price, following the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19. This rebound was not evenly distributed among the seven major groups of light-vehicle DIFM outlets, according to the latest Lang Marketing iReport.

“Four of the seven groups of outlets generated more than 85% of the DIFM parts and labor surge over the past two years,” states the analysis. Here are a few key takeaways from the report.

DIFM Parts and Labor Increase
The $30 billion rebound of parts and labor (purchased service) volume over the past two years is the largest increase ever recorded by the light vehicle DIFM market in the U.S.

It reflects the strength of the DIFM market and the pent-up demand for aftermarket parts and labor following COVID-19, which removed a double-digit decline across the 2020 DIFM market.

Biggest DIFM Outlet Winners in 2021 and 2022
Three factors forged winners and losers among DIFM outlets: the evolving mix of foreign and domestic nameplates on U.S. roads, the growing technical complexity of light vehicle repair, and the changing competitive strengths of DIFM outlet groups.

Four outlet groups generated over 85% of the $30 billion DIFM volume surge (parts and labor) during 2021 and 2022: repair specialists, vehicle dealers, Service stations and garages, and foreign specialists.

Repair Specialists
Repair specialists (outlets focusing on a limited array of vehicle repairs) accounted for approximately 29% of the $30 billion parts and labor increase during 2021 and 2022.

Lang Marketing estimates that repair specialists added more than $8.5 billion in parts and labor sales during these two years over 2020 levels. Most of this gain was the result of repair specialists expanding their repair scope, coupled with their growing foreign nameplate repair.

Vehicle Dealers
Vehicle dealers rang up nearly a $7.6 billion increase in parts and labor volume during 2021 and 2022. This was the second-largest gain of any DIFM outlet group and accounted for 25% of the $30 billion surge in DIFM sales. Foreign nameplate dealers generated most of the repair growth (parts and labor) by vehicle dealers during 2021 and 2022.

Service Stations and Garages
Despite their diminishing population and market share, Service stations and garages ranked third in parts and labor growth during 2021 and 2022, topping a $5.0 billion gain. Despite their loss of parts and labor share, service stations and garages accounted for nearly 17% of the increase in DIFM volume during these two years.

Foreign Repair Specialists
Foreign repair specialists (outlets focusing on the repair of foreign nameplate cars and light trucks) were fourth in parts and labor gain during 2021 and 2022, up by nearly $5.0 billion. They generated almost 16.0% of the total DIFM rebound.

Their small population limited foreign specialists to fourth place in 2021 and 2022 parts and labor growth, but they rolled up the largest percentage increase in DIFM volume during these two years.

Other DIFM Outlets with Growth
Tire stores were fifth in parts and labor growth during 2021 and 2022, up $2.5 billion and accounting for over 8.0% of total DIFM market growth. Discount stores/mass merchandisers with bays added $1.5 billion in parts and labor volume during 2021 and 2022, as they represented just over 5.0% of the $30 billion surge in DIFM parts and labor during these two years.

DIFM Outlets Losing Ground
Auto parts stores with bays declined in their share of 2021 and 2022 car and light truck DIFM parts and labor sales. Despite the market-wide increase in DIFM parts and labor volume, auto parts stores with bays remained flat in light vehicle DIFM sales during these two years.

Labor Leads in DIFM Growth
Car and light truck parts accounted for approximately 47% of the 2021 and 2022 DIFM volume increase, while labor (purchased service) represented about 53% of the estimated $30 billion DIFM rebound, at user-price

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