In previous columns this year we touched on topics involving Electric/Hybrid cars, telematics that create the “connected” car, the emerging concept of the “shared fleet”, the potential disruption of the Tesla “non-dealership” model, the growing role of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on our industry and why privacy matters.

In this final column, and in keeping with the goal of providing food for thought and the hope that we will continue to engage the “struggle” of the trends that are in front of us, we ask what might this all mean for us?

  • Which trends will impact the automotive aftermarket?
  • How will customer involvement and the customer journey change?
  • How will profit pools shift along the value chain?
  • What are some initial steps aftermarket players should take in order to be prepared?

Lube shops are part of the independent aftermarket vs the OEM’s. According to some studies and reports, growth in this segment is expected to remain at about 3% for the next generation. If that proves to be accurate, then we ought to be compelled to press forward with our own individual and collective association efforts to monitor existing and emerging trends.

The bullet point questions above are there to challenge us to become a part of the top percent of industry insiders that dig into and help shape what our industry and our own individual responses can and should be.

For instance and by way of example, if we saw a trend emerging that indicated dealerships might actually be motivated to work with particular fast lube shops in some form of micro partnership, wouldn’t you want to be at the front of and positioned to benefit from such a trend? Wouldn’t you want to know about the possibility and make sure you became top of mind to your local dealerships at the beginning of such a shift?

The point is not that this particular instance will materialize, rather the point is if you applied your awareness of the trends we have been discussing in these articles, then hopefully you will be more equipped to capitalize on the circumstances because you saw the signs and understood what new opportunities could be heading your direction.

Thank you for reading these articles and considering how the information may assist you to remain relevant and successful in our industry.

Steve Barram

STEVE BARRAM is CEO of Integrated Services, Inc.(ISI) – software makers of LubeSoft. He has been actively involved in the fast lube segment of the automotive aftermarket industry for over 30 years through leadership roles, speaking engagements, and serving on boards.