Professional service centers stand to gain from growing economy, increasing vehicle sales

As the economy continues to show signs of promise, professional service centers stand to gain. 

According to a recent report, business leaders in the automotive aftermarket are more confident in the future of the industry, primarily due to an improving economy. The AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Business Confidence Index hit 20.27 in May, up from 18.75 in April. At the same time the AAIA/Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Economic Confidence Index hit 12.16 in May, down from 16.67 in April, but the fifth consecutive month in which the reading has been positive. 

"It is clear aftermarket leaders had more confidence in the industry in May compared to April 2013 yet are still concerned," said Timothy Nash, a professor at Northwood University. "It is also obvious that business leaders were slightly less confident regarding the overall economy in May. We believe a continued weak European economy, a slowing Chinese economy and a decline in miles driven from a year ago are the primary reasons for generally disappointing yet improving confidence among aftermarket leaders in their business."

The report also showed that the number of miles driven increased in March, representing a good sign for a professional service centers and an opportunity to market for the summer driving season. 

"A 0.13 percent increase in March to April 2013 miles driven gives us some pause for optimism," Nash added. "The historically higher than average gasoline prices give us reason for concern in the economy and aftermarket at this time yet gasoline prices declined slightly in June 2013. The negative trend with regard to our national debt and that of Europe was worsened by mixed U.S. fundamentals in June and a lower than expected first quarter 2013 final revision of U.S. GDP report, showing GDP growth of 1.8 percent down from an expected 3.2 percent."

Six months of strong sales
Professional service centers should also be encouraged by fact that vehicle sales are on the rise. According to TrueCar, the seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate reached 15.7 million units in June, up from 15.3 million units on a month-over-month comparison and 14.4 million units on a year-over-year comparison. 

As the automotive market looks to be poised for growth, professional service centers will be in high demand. The strong sales create yet another marketing opportunity for automotive repair facilities to encourage customers to practice preventative maintenance in order to preserve the resale value of their new vehicle.