Auto Aftermarket Leaders’ Confidence Level Rising

Jun 18, 2013

Aftermarket business leaders are more positive about the economy and feeling increasingly confident on the future prospects of the automotive aftermarket over the next 12 months, according to results of an April 2013 Business Confidence Index from Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and Northwood University.

The overall AAIA/ Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business Confidence Index for April was 18.75, up from the March reading of 8.33, placing aftermarket leaders in the mid-range of the “slightly more confident” category, according to AAIA.

“It is clear aftermarket leaders had more confidence in the industry in April compared to March 2013 yet are still concerned,” said. Timothy Nash, vice president of strategic and corporate alliances for Northwood University. “It is also obvious that business leaders were significantly more confident regarding the overall economy in April as well. We believe a continued weak European economy, a slowing Chinese economy and an actual monthly decline in miles driven from February to March 2013 and from a year ago, are the primary reasons for generally disappointing yet improving confidence among aftermarket leaders in their business.”

The overall Automotive Aftermarket Economic Confidence Index for April was 16.67, up significantly from the March reading of -9.38. April marked the fourth month the index has been positive since March 2012. The index result means aftermarket business leaders are “slightly more confident” in the economy as a whole in April, according to AAIA.

Other economic concerns that might discourage aftermarket leaders from a more optimistic outlook include higher than average gas prices; the national debt; and the decrease of GDP growth, according to Nash.

“A positive resolution to the sequestration debate in Washington D.C., and debt crisis around the globe, and the adoption of a rational and predictable tax policy in the U.S. would help to offset high world oil prices and enhance aftermarket business confidence in the coming months,” Nash said.