2006 State of the Industry

Jan. 1, 2020
A BALANCING ACT: Every link in the chain is juggling its own specific issues while grappling with those that are nationwide.

It was somewhat of a volatile year for the U.S. economy in 2005. Two massive hurricanes wiped out hundreds of thousands of square miles, displaced more than 1.5 million people and forced many businesses to shut their doors for good. Gas prices ranged between high and downright outrageous most of the year, which left Americans tugging at their tighter pocketbooks. A war, still being waged in another land, diverted government funds and attention from other important issues. Since 1998, millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished only to have magically reappeared in countries with lower cost production. And, the value of the dollar diminished as our trade deficit ballooned past $60 billion.

Every one of these issues has had an impact on every level of the aftermarket. That’s why most players are simply searching for balance in an unpredictable business climate, says our annual State of the Industry study, an extensive look at what’s happening throughout the entire supply chain.

In some cases, concerns related to the U.S. economy overshadowed several of the more specific struggles that demand attention on a daily basis, such as gaining access to repair information, finding qualified employees and dealing with how to manage explosive return rates.

Our one-of-a-kind State of the Industry report includes input from manufacturers, retailers, program groups, warehouse distributors, jobbers, independent repair shops, dealerships and consumers on everything deemed critical or challenging in the aftermarket.

And, it was no secret that each segment of the chain had their own unique set of issues that they have been trying to focus on. Warehouse distributors are less concerned about repair information than independent service providers and program groups; retailers aren’t nearly as worried about product returns as jobbers; and several segments aren’t as concerned about manufacturing consolidation as much as the manufacturers are. However, as we know, all things in a chain are inextricably linked together, and these issues will affect all sectors of the aftermarket at one point or another.

Click on the link to download a PDF of the

2006 State of the Industry report.