The Aftermarket Pushes Forward while Dealers Diverge
The first quarter saw a dramatic split in performance between the retail sales of new and used vehicle dealers. New vehicle dealers saw a 9.3% increase as growing inventory levels help boost sales performance. Used vehicle dealers on the other hand saw a 2.5% decline in the first quarter as consumer focus shifted to the available vehicles in the new side of the market, and prices stabilized after the record gains of the last 2 years.
February marked a full year since the invasion of Ukraine sparked sharp increases in gasoline prices in 2022. In comparison, retail sales at gasoline stations for the first quarter of 2023 remained fairly flat overall as the price jumps of a year ago have largely subsided. The automotive aftermarket continued to be a pillar of strength in the industry with automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores seeing a 10.2% increase in retail sales compared to the already elevated levels in the first quarter of 2022. “Retail sales in the automotive market saw fascinating market dynamics in the first quarter of 2023” commented Andrew King, Managing Partner at DAC. He continued “Gasoline has levelled off, the aftermarket continues to outperform, while market forces push new and used dealers in different directions.”
Azarov, D. (2023, June 28). DesRosiers automotive reports.