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Amazon Making Impact on Automotive Aftermarket

September 12, 2017 0 Comments

Industry analysts are beginning to recognize Amazon as a serious player/competitor in the automotive aftermarket.

As the average vehicle age in the U.S. rises, the automotive aftermarket is thriving and becoming one of the fastest-growing sections in online sales, according to a One Click Retail report on Amazon’s impact on the automotive aftermarket.

Amazon first introduced its auto parts section back in 2006. In 2016, it expanded, launching a car research site and parts marketplace which allows customers to “punch in” their car’s make and model to search for the necessary parts.

In 2016, Amazon racked up $2.4 billion in automotive sales. Year-to-date in 2017, Amazon saw a 16 percent increase in those automotive sales. It currently stands at $1.4 billion.

In 2017 so far, specialty auto parts companies like O’Reilly Automotive, AutoZone, and Advanced Auto Parts have been underperforming in the stock market, according to Canton Rep. As a result, investors have had to reassess the market and look for “disruptors” elsewhere.

Two major trends in automotive aftermarket sales are that owners of older cars “exhibit desirable maintenance behaviors” and new car owners invest more in appearance products. With the average car age rising, more car owners are turning to Amazon to find the replacement parts they need.

In the first two quarters of 2017, underhood and undercar replacement parts alone brought in nearly $300 million.

Truck accessories beat out both replacement part categories, bringing in $185 million. Towing accessories make up over a third of the total category sales and are responsible for the top two items: a Tekonsha electric brake control and a Smittybilt 9,500-pound capacity winch.

Truck parts didn’t see much sales growth, with most gains in the truck accessory product group stemming from appearance products like wheel and tire accessories and appearance chemicals.

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