New car sales have taken off this year in relation to used car transactions, and it’s likely to continue into next year. US consumers have held their cars longer than usual, and want to replace them with a new model. That means tire dealers and auto repair shops will likely be seeing a softer sales year, according to NPD Group’s 2013 Aftermarket Consumer Outlook Survey. NPD Group expects new vehicle sales to be at a similar volume as in 2012, while used cars may decline. If the economy worsens, 37% of the survey respondents said they will put a hold on their new vehicle purchase transactions. There will continue to be a large chunk of aging cars needing service, but the market size of older vehicles needing repairs is getting smaller.
Millennials, the generation of 80 million consumers aged 16–35, has a potential for being the next biggest market for the aftermarket businesses, according to NPD. The challenge here is that Millennials drive less than older generations and are going through a higher unemployment rate. This is causing a good deal of frugality for younger consumers.