Home Blog 2020 A New Wave of DIY Car Care
Apr 27, 2020

A New Wave of DIY Car Care

Subscribe to our blog

Retail is being challenged in ways never seen before and the automotive aftermarket, while deemed an essential industry, has faced a significant reduction in demand as cars sit idle. But let’s look at the bright side – with all of this said, April is National Car Care Month! Many consumers are spending most of their time at home and looking for something (ANYTHING) to do as their next project. As an industry, we have a huge opportunity to encourage do-it-yourself (DIY) vehicle projects—from maintenance and repairs to car washing and detailing—and for parents to teach their kids about car care. 

Thus far, the aftermarket has felt the pandemic’s effects in a few different ways. Entering the crisis, items like hand sanitizer, respirator masks, shop towels, and even gasoline cans started flying off the shelves of auto parts stores and saw sales jump significantly. Although the circumstances and categories being sought were different, this hoarding type of consumer behavior is not unknown to auto parts stores as consumers turn to these outlets to stock up on select items leading up to hurricanes. After a week or two of preparation, reality set in and sales performance turned negative for almost all of the aftermarket categories NPD tracks. Overall industry sales declined by nearly 20% in the week ending March 28, but the decline appears to have stabilized and the industry is showing some signs of improvement off of that low.

What has been interesting to see is that a handful of project-related categories like paint and body repair have recently showed significant growth. In speaking with some of my peers who work in this part of our industry, they explained that the “why” behind this trend is twofold: while part of it is due to demand softness last year because of poor weather, the other part is related to consumers having time at home to tackle DIY projects. From hard-core enthusiasts resuming work on the old project car in the garage, to lite-DIY consumers just looking for something to do, the paint and body repair categories are benefitting right now. 

The aftermarket industry has long been worried that enthusiasm for DIY car repair and projects is dying.  With many people now at home full-time, we see a huge chance for our industry to engage the consumer base differently. We have an opportunity to push at incentives on car detailing and lite-DIY maintenance projects: identify the present day barriers to purchasing, such as consumers not wanting to venture out and walk into a retail store, and solve for them; speak directly to parents at home and encourage them to get outside with their kids and detail the car! We truly have an opportunity here, and while it will not replace lost sales from an overall reduction in demand, it might just influence a new wave of DIY behavior for years to come.



Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Content

Tagged: Automotive


The NPD Group Announces Winners of 2nd Annual Automotive Aftermarket Performance Awards
The NPD Group Announces Winners of 2nd Annual Automotive Aftermarket Performance Awards

NPD's announced winners of its second annual Automotive Aftermarket Performance Awards as the 2020 AAPEX Show kicked off, recognizing industry leaders.

DIY Projects and Discretionary Purchases Fuel Aftermarket Increase
DIY Projects and Discretionary Purchases Fuel Aftermarket Increase

Do-it-yourself (DIY) and discretionary categories tied to at-home car projects were at the top of the performance chart and the primary contributors to the automotive aftermarket’s 4% dollar sales growth in the first half of 2020.

At-Home DIY Projects and Discretionary Purchases Fuel 4% Sales Increase for the Automotive Aftermarket During First Half of 2020
At-Home DIY Projects and Discretionary Purchases Fuel 4% Sales Increase for the Automotive Aftermarket During First Half of 2020

Do-it-yourself and discretionary categories tied to at-home car projects are driving sales increases for the automotive aftermarket so far this year.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice. | Cookie Settings

Follow Us

© 2020 The NPD Group, Inc.