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Despite inflation and other headwinds, U.S. aftermarket grows nearly 9%

Dealer service centers, parts stores and general repair sectors all experienced notable growth in 2023, outperforming initial estimates and expectations

Bethesda, Md. and Research Triangle Park, N.C.—Despite challenges such as persistent inflation, the aftermarket has demonstrated resilience with total aftermarket sales growing by 8.6% in 2023 to $391 billion.

Dealer service centers, auto parts stores, and general auto repair sectors all experienced notable growth, outperforming initial estimates, according to the new 2024 Joint Forecast Model by the Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers.

Key Market Trends and Projections

The forecast model identifies several key market trends influencing the aftermarket, including:

  • Labor Market Dynamics: Rising wages and a strong labor market are driving consumer spending, despite inflationary pressures.
  • Inflation Outlook: Much of the growth is attributed to the industry’s ability to charge more for service and for parts to keep up with inflation which is expected to gradually recede, with rates returning to the Fed’s target range by late 2025.
  • Consumer Sentiment: While consumer sentiment remains low, spending levels have remained resilient. However, continued pessimism may pose risks to future spending patterns.
  • Vehicle Sales and Fleet Growth: Despite fluctuations, new vehicle sales are projected to stabilize, contributing to the growth of the U.S. vehicle fleet.
  • E-commerce Growth: E-commerce purchases of DIY parts continue to rise, reflecting shifting consumer preferences and increasing convenience.

Forecast for 2024 and Beyond

The story in 2023 was not dramatically different than in 2022 with respect to the key influences on the U.S. aftermarket. Inflation remained stubbornly high despite retreating gas prices, but a resilient consumer kept driving and spending across the economy including, most importantly, on their vehicle.

Elevated inflation remains a roadblock to potential federal rate cuts, but the labor market remains strong and wages continue to rise. As a result, despite some pessimism from the consumer, spending remains high, which bodes well for the aftermarket.

The Joint Forecast Model predicts continued growth for the U.S. automotive aftermarket, with sales expected to increase by 5.9% in 2024. Looking ahead, average growth rates of 4.5% are forecasted for the period from 2025 to 2027, as inflationary effects subside and the aftermarket grows to $472 billion.

The Joint Channel Forecast Model report is available to Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers members as a membership benefit.

Auto Care members can access the Joint Channel Forecast report in the 2025 Auto Care Factbook at MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers can access the report at

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