The Aftermarket Supplier Sentiment Index for the first quarter of 2012 registered the most positive supplier sentiment since 2010, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) in its “Aftermarket Supplier Barometer.”
“Outlook for the future became significantly more positive in the first quarter. Sales grew, gross margin improved slightly and hiring was slightly up,” said Steve Handschuh, president and COO of AASA. “Inventory and capacity additions were stable quarter-over-quarter, firmly in the positive territory,” he added.
“Although the ‘Top 10 Concerns’ in the AASA Aftermarket Supplier Barometer have remained the same over the past two years, we have seen the relative importance of some issues increase and decrease,” noted Paul McCarthy, AASA vice president of industry analysis, planning and member services. “Suppliers’ concerns regarding raw material costs and world economic conditions have declined. However, concern has increased regarding margin erosion, lack of pricing power and product returns.”
The “AASA Aftermarket Supplier Barometer” is a quarterly survey of AASA full service supplier members on key indicators and market trends.