After a storm comes calm?

After a storm comes calm?

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected various sectors across the globe, with the commercial vehicles aftermarket industry taking a massive knock as well. But all hope is not lost!

The market research solutions provider Reportlinker notes that the large-scale drop in business confidence, consumer demand and industrial production led to a global economic recession in 2020.

“The coronavirus outbreak has also heavily impacted the commercial vehicle industry,” it highlights in its piece: “Covid-19 Growth Impact Assessment for the Commercial Vehicle Industry”., one of the largest online market research stores, notes in its piece, “Post Covid-19 Growth Opportunities in the Global Medium/Heavy Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket, 2020”, that although the pandemic is affecting industries worldwide, “few can feel it as directly as the global commercial vehicles aftermarket. The collapse of economic activity in many regions means companies will drive their work trucks less, and they will spend less to maintain them.”

In another piece, “Global Automotive Aftermarket Report 2020: Resilience from an Aging Vehicle Parc, Complemented by Digitisation of the Value Chain to Usher in Post-pandemic Revival”, reports that although automotive sales had slackened in 2019, resilience from the global vehicle stock was expected to fuel growth opportunities for aftermarket stakeholders in 2020.

“According to this analysis, aftermarket revenue expanded by 4,1% in 2019. This was largely driven by a 3,2% growth in vehicles in operation, with the contraction in global gross domestic product growth stifling consumer expenditure on new vehicle purchases. The slowdown in new vehicle sales also meant an increased focus on the aftermarket from all stakeholders, more so from the original equipment supplier channel, to sustain business at the dealer level by offering new vehicle services. This translated into the development of newer partnerships and evolution of newer channels to the market.”

For 2020, the publisher had initially forecast a 4% growth in aftermarket revenues, with India and China leading the growth. The pandemic has put paid to these hopes, and the global automotive aftermarket will have to pull through headwinds that will result in the industry posting a slow-down, ranging between 4,9% and 11,6%, depending on the nature of the ensuing economic recovery across regions.

But there are still plans to be made, as Reportlinker notes: “OEMs will explore various options to draw back fleet customers as the effects of the pandemic start to wane and the industry recovers. Strategies include quick service response teams to ensure vehicle uptime and onsite support operations. OEMs will also increase revenue from aftermarket opportunities, such as offering predictive maintenance and expanding mobile service operations.”

There are various other innovations as well, with one such offering coming from Meyle, an auto part manufacturer in Hamburg. The new Meyle-Performance Design cabin air filter can help protect occupants from harmful gases and particles, which, in addition to smog, exhaust, soot, ozone and pollen, also include fine dust and nitrogen oxide (NOx).

The innovation is unique in another way. Unlike conventional cabin air filters with active carbon, the Meyle-PD’s filtered NOx is chemically bound in the filter material (as a salt) and is never released, even when disposed of. The new cabin air filter thus permanently and sustainably reduces NOx in the environment and directly in the cabin.

So, while the automotive (specifically the commercial vehicle sector) aftermarket industry has taken a massive knock, thanks to planned courses of action and creative innovations, there’s reason to be hopeful.

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.
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