Photo: Jim Park

Photo: Jim Park

This probably will not come as a big surprise to most fleets, but emissions-related components are the fastest growing sector of the heavy-duty aftermarket, according to John Blodgett, vice president, sales and marketing for market-research firm MacKay & Co.

Speaking at the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue event in Las Vegas, Blodgett said that since 2010 aftermarket demand for these components has increased 254%. In addition, he and David Kalvelage, manager of IT and database services at MacKay & Co., expect that by 2021 that demand will increase another 42%. 

In their presentation “Structure and Trends of the Current Heavy Duty Aftermarket,” the duo recapped what happened in the aftermarket in 2016 and offered some thoughts on what might occur in the future. 

Another emissions-related trend they are seeing is the shift from fleets getting diesel particulate filters cleaned on a local level toward switching to factory-remanufactured products. 

However, they are also seeing a shift from remanufactured parts to new products for starter and alternator replacement based largely on the price equity of the new parts, which are primarily coming from offshore sources.

Looking back to 2016, the U.S. heavy-duty aftermarket was down 1.5%, mostly as a result of lower utilization and pricing adjustments. The Canadian aftermarket grew 7.4%, but Blodgett was quick to point out that this did not mean unit sales were higher. Rather, exchange rates accounted for most of the increase. 

Turning to the service side of the aftermarket, MacKay’s data shows 68% of first owners of vehicles are performing their own service, with dealers doing 18% of service and independent garages doing 14%.

However, while subsequent owners still do much of their own work, when they outsource they use dealers less often compared to first owners. Independent garages are the ones getting the additional work from fleets. 

In Canada, 54% of first owners are doing their own repairs but that number climbs to 61% for subsequent owners. 

Blodgett explained that every year MacKay surveys fleets about their desire to outsource service work. Fleets have consistently told the company that they would like to outsource more.

The number-one thing that prevents fleets from doing so is their concern about time lost/downtime/turnaround. In fact, 36% of fleets said that was their top concern, followed by cost of repair at 25% and quality of work at 23%.