Aftermarket, economy confidence a mixed bag for businesses

May 13, 2011

Results of the joint Business Confidence Index for March 2011, show that aftermarket business leaders were roughly four times as confident in the future of the automotive aftermarket over the next 12 months, than they were regarding the economy in general, reports AAIA and Northwood University.

AAIA members completed the third monthly index survey, and data shows that:

  • Forty-one percent were slightly more confident in the aftermarket over the next 12 months, which is down from 72% in February 2011. However, 19% of respondents were significantly more confident about doing business in the aftermarket over the next 12 months, an increase from February’s 13%
  • Only 7% were significantly more confident in the economy over the next 12 months, a decrease from 8% in February 2011; 37% reported being slightly more confident about the economy over the same period, which is down 4% from 41% in February 2011.
  • A score of 51-100 on the index signals leaders are “significantly more confident” in the aftermarket or the economy respectively over the next 12 months, while a score of 1-50 indicates they are “slightly more confident” in said areas over the next 12 months.

Aftermarket business leaders were less confident in the economy as a whole in March as the AAIA/Northwood University Economic Confidence Index fell from 12.8 to 7.4. The overall AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business Confidence Index for March was 30.6, up from 29.5 in February, leaving aftermarket leaders in the middle of the “slightly more confident” range.

“It is clear aftermarket leaders had slightly more confidence in the industry in March relative to February of this year,” said Dr. Timothy Nash, Northwood University. “It is also obvious that business leaders were less confident in the overall economy in March relative to February. Both the AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business Confidence Index and the AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Economic Confidence Index were positive again in March, but mirror concerns that many economists have that the general economy could be slowing down as aftermarket leaders confidence in the general economy declined for the third straight month.”