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The current state of the automotive industry

A Return to Fundamentals

With the credit crunch hitting the automotive industry hard, we are belatedly seeing a recovery primarily driven (no pun intended) by the ever expanding markets in India and China.  However, with the renaissance comes some much needed change. Out with the archaic view of brick and mortar retailers and in with the new, revolutionary online shop..

As revealed in the Booz & Company’s 2012 U.S. Automotive Industry Survey and Confidence Index, those in the industry have much more to cheer this year – over 90% of the people surveyed believe that the industry is in a better state of health than at any point in the last 5 years. The survey reveals that U.S. auto sales will reach 13.7 million in 2012.  Not quite hitting the heights of the most optimistic of industry estimates (when are they ever right anyway?), but certainly a drastic improvement from recent years. The force behind this renaissance is undoubtedly the online parts retail sector, with companies such as GMPartsNow leading the way in offering genuine oem parts for Chevrolet, GM and more at discount prices.  With the online sector constantly growing, it has now successfully infiltrated the the automotive industry and is taking it by storm.

The only way that the automotive industry can ever truly grow is with an increase in demand – and that will nearly always be consumer led.  With the U.S. consumer sector still on shaky ground, the sure-footing of the emerging China and India markets have proven to be the catalyst.  It is a testament to the restructuring in the industry that the export market has been able to keep up and manage with the overseas demand.  For many years since the height of the financial crisis in 2008, executives have been trying to balance the sheets and get back to square one by removing excess, reducing the deficit and more.  Now, in an age of slightly easier credit and renewed optimism, there is definitely potential for growth in the online automotive parts sector, so expect companies like GMPartsNow to grow even further.

The industry needs to learn from the mistakes off the past; chiefly, not to grow faster than the demand out there, which is still tepid, despite growing.  It also needs to grow ‘smartly’ and embrace new innovations, which is why the advance in online part retailers is most welcome.  With a new approach of fewer models, more satisfaction – the availability of repair parts becomes even more important and the internet gives a fantastic capacity to help satiate demand.