In the trucking industry, things are changing all the time with the advancement of technology. For many years, if a part went on your vehicle, you would have to go to the dealer to get a high-quality replacement part. However, today with the aftermarket parts industry being more advanced, there are far more options for the owners and installers.
Recently we interviewed Daniel Simon and Kevin Smith of Dorman Products.
Right now, OE Truck Dealers hold a very high market share in the replacement parts business. What is the key reason for this?
“There are a number of drivers there, it’s a complex issue. But first would probably be a lack of awareness of the aftermarket. To think that just eight years ago that headlights didn’t exist in the aftermarket, it really puts into perspective how quickly the number of parts categories that have expanded in the heavy-duty space.”
Along with the lack of awareness, there is also a belief that dealer level service is only found at a dealership. However, with the advancing aftermarket, and companies such as Diesel Laptops with their dealer level diagnostic tools, this level of service is now attainable outside of a dealer. In order to be able to service vehicles quickly though, and lower downtime as much as possible, there needs to be good parts availability. Especially for small fleets who cannot afford to have a truck out of commission for an extended amount of time, parts availability is very important.
Being an independent service channel can be difficult at times though. For one, they can feel ignored because they might not have any idea what shipment they are getting until it arrives and they unload it. There is just not the same type of ability for an independent service center to service the customers.
Furthermore, OE Truck Dealers have as much as 90% market share of emerging categories like aftertreatment. Why is that?
At the time mark 19:14, Kevin said,
“They have all the capabilities already pre-set in place for these things, it’s done by design. The dealers and OE’s know the technologies they’re putting out, and the different assets they need in the dealerships to maintain these systems. So, they’re ahead of the game off the start… They do not have to worry too much about all makes because primarily they are working on whatever their proprietary make is in that shop. It is really easy for them to hold that market share, however like every market, aftermarket products are catching up.”
Dorman Products is also connecting aftermarket distributors with independent service channels. They do so by having boots on the ground and by their technological tools. From a technology side, just as an example, they are cataloging VIN’s to offer the right parts to the right vehicles. By doing this they have every part cataloged to each year, make, and model.
Do not give up on the aftermarket, because they are growing and really putting in their time to make high-quality parts.
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