Exploring and Expanding Business Opportunities in the Global Automotive Aftermarket

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

By Carolina Arregoces, associate, International Affairs, Auto Care Association

While it is true that the pandemic impacted the global automotive aftermarket, there are significant trends that are already shaping its growth while providing new global business opportunities for companies looking to expand and explore new markets.  

E-Commerce Opportunities

Developing a strong online presence has become critical for the automotive aftermarket with companies around the world realizing the importance of investing in the digitalization of their businesses to reach customers and consumers.

The pandemic led to an accelerated increase in online activity in regions such as Latin America, turning it into one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world. The global auto parts e-commerce market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. According to a report from Frost and Sullivan, global revenues for replacement parts and accessories sold online during 2020 grew by 24%.

Global Vehicles in Operation and Average Vehicle Age

Based on research by Auto Care Association, in partnership with Hanover Research, there are more than 1.4 billion vehicles on roads around the globe, with 37% in Asia/Oceania/Middle East, followed by Europe (29%) and North America (24%). Collectively, these cars traveled more than 15 trillion miles in 2020.

As the average vehicle age continues to rise worldwide, longer-lasting vehicles present a great opportunity for the aftermarket as they require more repairs and maintenance. Passenger cars are now at an average age of 12.7 years.

Export growth

According to data gathered by the International Trade Administration from January 2021 to May 2021, exports of U.S. goods and services increased 11% to $995 billion since January, boosting the U.S. economy. This indicates that despite the global uncertainty, suppliers and buyers have maintained their engagements and continued to expand and explore new global markets.

Recognizing these opportunities, AAPEX has made available to all attendees the programs and services below to explore the global marketplace and reach the more than $1.6 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry:

International Matchmaking Program

International buyers and distributors looking to connect with U.S. manufacturing exhibitors have had the opportunity to participate in Auto Care Association’s International Matchmaking Program at AAPEX. Through a partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the program has attracted a select group of international buyers since 2016 and has provided excellent opportunities for U.S. suppliers to enter or increase presence in international markets. Past participants have reported tremendous success with export sales and/or establishing new partnerships.

Import Vehicle Community

For businesses engaged in import nameplate products and services, the Auto Care Association’s Import Vehicle Community will host its popular Fabulous Networking Reception on Tuesday, Nov. 2 and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 3, in the Venetian. Supported by member sponsoring companies, these events during AAPEX 2021 will offer opportunities for businesses to connect with industry executives in the import channel of the industry.

The Import Product and Marketing Awards recognize innovative products and marketing programs designed to serve the import aftermarket. The program features nine categories, an awards presentation and is an effective opportunity to highlight your brand and product and gain additional exposure at AAPEX.

AAPEX International Buyer Center

The International Buyer Center at AAPEX has been the central meeting place for international buying delegates attending AAPEX. Centrally located in the Venetian, Casanova Room 501, the center offers meeting rooms, refreshments and show staff to help attendees navigate the show flow and answer any questions.

We’re looking forward to reuniting with our international partners this year in Las Vegas. To register, visit aapexshow.com. For information on international buyer delegations, contact AAPEX Event Management, Kelly Denman, kelly@aapexshow.com.