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Foreign nameplates generate nearly all light-vehicle aftermarket growth

Domestic nameplates will account for lower product sales in 2022 than they did 10 years earlier

Fort Wayne, Ind.—Foreign nameplate cars and light trucks are generating virtually all light vehicle aftermarket product growth. Foreign nameplates created nearly 94% of light vehicle aftermarket product expansion between 2016 and 2019. Affected by COVID, domestic nameplates suffered most of the 2020 aftermarket product downturn, while foreign nameplate products fell to a lesser degree.

“Foreign nameplates generated most of the aftermarket product rebound during 2021 and will continue to do so this year,” states the new 2023 Lang Aftermarket Annual report. “Accordingly, domestic nameplates will account for lower product sales in 2022 than they did 10 years earlier.”

The following are key takeaways from the analysis.

Foreign Nameplates Dominate
Foreign nameplate cars and light trucks significantly increased their aftermarket product volume between 2012 and 2019, increasing by more than $19 billion. This represented over 92% of total aftermarket product growth during those seven years.

Foreign Nameplates Increase Share
Foreign nameplates climbed from less than 40% of total car and light truck aftermarket product volume in 2012 to 49% by 2019. At the same time, domestic nameplates generated less than $2 billion in aftermarket product growth between 2012 and 2019 as their aftermarket product share decreased by nearly one-fifth.

Prior to COVID-19
Before COVID-19, domestic nameplates were almost flat in aftermarket product volume between 2016 and 2019, as sales inched up at only a 0.2% annual rate. At the same time, foreign nameplates increased by $9 billion at nearly a 6.0% annual growth rate.

COVID-19 Impact
2020 aftermarket sales dropped by over $8 billion, with domestic nameplates experiencing three-quarters of this decline. During 2020, domestic nameplates accounted for less aftermarket product volume than 20 years earlier.

COVID-19 also reduced foreign nameplate volume, but to a much smaller degree. The 2020 aftermarket sales of foreign nameplates fell by more than $2 billion. However, they still topped sales of two years earlier.

COVID-19 Aftermarket Recovery
The aftermarket bounced back strongly in 2021, adding over $9 billion to the car and light truck product sales, at user-price. Recovering from the historic 2020 sales decline, the domestic nameplate aftermarket added nearly $4 billion during 2021, but failed to top sales of 10 years earlier.

Foreign Nameplates Secure Aftermarket Majority
Foreign nameplates carved out a much different path. They added over $6 billion in product volume during 2021 as their sales climbed approximately 75% over 2011. Prior to COVID-19, domestic nameplates held a dominant share of car and light truck aftermarket product volume. However, with their recovery in 2021, foreign nameplates captured 52% of car and light truck product sales across the U.S., at user-price.

Projections to 2025
Foreign nameplates will dominate car and light truck product growth from 2021 to 2025. Lang Marketing projects that foreign nameplates will add over $18 billion to product sales during these four years.

In contrast, domestic nameplates will record less than a $2 billion gain in aftermarket product volume between 2021 and 2025. As a result, foreign nameplates will generate over 95% of the light vehicle product growth during the next four years. Foreign nameplates will represent nearly 60% of car and light truck product sales by 2025, up from only 45% 10 years earlier.

Annual Product Growth Differences
Foreign nameplates will accelerate to 7% annual product growth, at user-price, between 2021 and 2025. This will be two-thirds greater than the average growth pace of the total light vehicle aftermarket and eight times the yearly product growth recorded by domestic nameplates.

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