Domestic Nameplate 2024 DIFM Below 2007

The domestic nameplate Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) market has flopped.

Lang Marketing projects that the domestic nameplates’ 2024 DIFM product volume will sink below their 2007 sales at user-price. Two factors are the cause: fewer domestic nameplates in age categories with high aftermarket product use and the above-average DIFM volume of foreign nameplates. 

The languishing DIFM performance of domestic nameplates underscores the dramatic gains of foreign nameplates in the DIFM market. It reflects the significance of vehicle nameplates in generating DIFM product sales and how the nation’s changing nameplate mix shapes many aspects of the light vehicle aftermarket.

Lower Domestic Nameplate VIO Share

Domestic nameplate cars and light trucks represented about 65 percent of vehicles in operation (VIO) in 2007. Over the next 17 years, the declining domestic nameplates’ share of new vehicle sales and disproportionate scrappage will push their VIO share down to about 48 percent by mid-year 2024. 

Aging Domestic Nameplate Population

For many years, domestic nameplates have been significantly older on average than foreign nameplates. In 2016, domestic cars and light trucks were approximately 2.5 years older than foreign nameplates.

Lang Marketing estimates that domestic nameplates will average nearly 2.8 years older than foreign nameplates during 2024.

DIFM repair volume is highest among vehicles 10 years and newer. Foreign nameplates have dominated this vehicle age group since 2014.  

Diminishing Domestic Nameplates’ DIFM Share

At the turn of the new millennium, domestic nameplates represented over two-thirds of U.S. DIFM product sales at user-price. However, due to their steady decline in VIO share and increased vehicle age, domestic nameplates plunged to approximately half of 2016 DIFM product car and light truck sale

This has continued, and Lang Marketing estimates that domestic nameplates will represent less than 38 percent of the 2024 DIFM product volume at user-price.

Domestic Nameplate Cars Versus Light Trucks

The domestic nameplate VIO and age mix differ dramatically between cars and light trucks. Light trucks account for about 75 percent of domestic nameplates in operation and have a significantly lower average age than domestic nameplate cars.

Domestic Cars Suffer Entire DIFM Decline

Passenger cars have shouldered all the domestic nameplate DIFM aftermarket product decline between 2016 and 2024.

Over these eight years, the domestic car aftermarket product DIFM volume will have plunged by more than $3 billion, suffering a 1.0 percent average annual drop at user-price.

At the same time, the entire light vehicle DIFM market will soar by approximately $20 billion at user-price.

Aftermarket Implications

Domestic nameplates’ lower 2024 aftermarket DIFM product volume compared to 2007 has had several significant consequences for the DIFM aftermarket. 

Where DIFM Repair is Performed

First, nameplates influence where DIFM products are installed. The decline of domestic nameplate product volume has shifted the strength of product sales by type of DIFM outlet.

In particular, dealers have benefited from domestic nameplates’ falling DIFM volume and have expanded their share of the light vehicle DIFM market at the expense of independent (non-dealer) DIFM outlets. 

Distribution Channel Volume

Second, the volume of products flowing through different distribution channels is significantly impacted by vehicle nameplate DIFM share.

The declining significance of domestic nameplates in DIFM product volume and share has benefited three distribution channels: OE, Integrated and Import. In contrast, the traditional channel has suffered due to this shifting DIFM volume by vehicle nameplate. 

Brand Share Strength

Third, the DIFM strength of product brands is significantly influenced by the DIFM product volume of vehicle nameplates. OE, OE-Supplier, and foreign brands have benefited from the increasing DIFM share of foreign nameplates. In contrast, domestic brands, and private labels have suffered.

Future Trends

Lang Marketing expects that domestic nameplates will continue to decline in DIFM share. This will be a significant factor in shaping the product volume, repair outlet strength, brand mix, distribution channel strength and the structure of the car and light truck aftermarket for years to come.

Six Major Takeaways

  Lang Marketing expects that domestic nameplates will continue to decline in DIFM share. This will be a significant factor in shaping the product volume, repair outlet strength, brand mix, distribution channel strength and the structure of the car and light truck aftermarket for years to come.

  Domestic nameplates have a much higher average age than foreign nameplates. DIFM repair volume is highest among newer vehicles, particularly those 10 years and younger. Accordingly, domestic nameplates have captured a diminishing share of the fast-growing DIFM market.

  Domestic nameplates plunged from about two-thirds of DIFM product sales in the U.S. at the turn of the new millennium to approximately half by 2016. Lang Marketing estimates that domestic nameplates will generate less than 38 percent of 2024 DIFM product volume at user-price.

  The VIO’s nameplate mix significantly impacts where aftermarket DIFM repairs are performed. As domestic nameplates declined in DIFM share and foreign nameplates increased, the strength of DIFM outlets changed significantly. Dealers have reduced the DIFM share of independent (non-dealer) DIFM outlets, largely due to the declining strength of domestic nameplates in the DIFM market.

  The declining DIFM strength of domestic nameplates is significantly influencing the share of volume flowing ‘ through each of the five major channels of distribution, with the OE, Integrated, and Import channels benefiting the most.

  Domestic nameplate car and light truck aftermarket 2024 DIFM product volume will fail to top 2007 sales at user-price. The falling DIFM product share and volume of domestic nameplates have caused significant changes in the strength of different types of brands in the DIFM aftermarket and will continue to do so in the coming years.

Want more? Check out the July 2024 issue of AASP-MN News!