North American aftermarket shows strong growth in 2017

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated Feb 1, 2018

The North American heavy-duty aftermarket showed significant growth in the U.S. and Canada last year, MacKay & Company reported earlier this week at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue.

Year to date dealer's parts sales chart

Last January at Aftermarket Dialogue 2017, MacKay & Company data estimated the U.S. aftermarket in 2016 at $30.2 billion and predicted 2017 at $30.6 billion. The company says both numbers were actually lower ($29.5 billion and $30.4 billion) but the year-over-year improvement was stronger than the original expectation. The company’s numbers were similar for Canada, with 2016 finishing at $3.9 billion and 2017 clocking in at $4.2 billion.

These numbers equal growth of 3.1 percent and 9.2 percent for the two markets, respectively, and MacKay & Company says both markets appear well positioned to maintain that strength in the immediate years to come.

In both countries, the year-over-year improvements were significant and immediate.

Dealer parts sales gained 7.6 percent year-over-year in January and kept up that hot stretch for the entire year, never having a single month fall behind 2016 pace. At independent stores the story was similar. January was an increase of 3.6 percent year-over-year and again each month in 2017 was better than the prior year.

Along those lines, MacKay & Company’s Aftermarket Index shows the U.S. aftermarket was up 4.7 percent in 2017 through November and 12.1 percent in Canada. Compared to flat and down years in the U.S. and Canada with the Index the last two years, the aftermarket outperformed in all markets in 2017, MacKay & Company says.

Monday’s MacKay & Company presentation also zeroed in on the commercial truck population. The company says the new truck market exploded in 2017 at a rate well ahead of last year’s projections, and in the U.S., he expects that boom to continue for 2018. Forecasting out from there, MacKay & Company peg the new vehicle market for both countries to run slightly ahead of 20-year averages. That jump should help vehicle utilization as well.

Class 6-8 fleet utilization has bounced between 82 to 84 percent since 2010, but MacKay & Company says early 2017 estimates are trending up to 85.6 percent, with even higher numbers potentially on the horizon.

Together, numbers like this show a potential for more aftermarket growth through the remainder of the decade. MacKay & Company is forecasting the U.S. aftermarket at $30.8 billion, $31.6 billion and $32.8 billion through 2020. Through 2022, that forecast features a 2.8 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for the U.S. and 4.4 percent in Canada.

Learn how to move your used trucks faster
With unsold used inventory depreciating at a rate of more than 2% monthly, efficient inventory turnover is a must for dealers. Download this eBook to access proven strategies for selling used trucks faster.
Used Truck Guide Cover