If you read the news on a daily basis, you may be forgiven for thinking the UK sank into a mire of doom and gloom in 2022. Yet in the latest Auto Repair Focus podcast episode, Phil Curry explains how the big stories may actually be a launchpad for aftermarket success.
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Opportunities, not challenges, presented in 2022
There were four big challenges that impacted the UK automotive market in 2022, and each of them had an effect, either directly or indirectly, on the aftermarket. However, every challenge presents an opportunity, and while the rest of the automotive industry suffers, the aftermarket has a chance to lead it from the problems.
Take the new-car market, for example, which endured a third year of declines, even though 2022 saw no COVID-19 related lockdowns or dealership closures. Last year was the first full year of physical trading since 2019, and yet a supply crisis, together with rising costs, saw the market fall 2% year-on-year.
But this simply means drivers are keeping cars for longer, seen in the increasing age of the UK car parc. Therefore, 2022 registration figures present an opportunity for the aftermarket, to service all those older cars as the parc is not ‘topped up’ as much as it previously has been.
Cost-of-living dominates 2022
There are also opportunities arising from the cost-of-living crisis, although the personal impact is also being felt amongst many in the automotive industry as well. If you are being impacted, help is at hand and you can find out more in a previous podcast we ran with automotive charity Ben – it is worth a listen.
The skills shortage may seem like a big impact for the future, with news highlighting the crowing chasm in skilled aftermarket workers increasing in 2022, but the fact that we are aware of this now means it can be addressed sooner rather than later. Trouble around the MOT (again!) has also benefitted the industry, highlighting its importance with a majority of drivers believing the current frequency needs to remain.
Overall, 2022 may not be considered one of the UK’s better years. But it has given the aftermarket an opportunity, as the challenges offer a change to grow.