The Maker Files Blog

Our blog for brands looking to create authentic connections with makers & DIYers

DIY Automotive Aftermarket Industry Trends and Insights

Posted by Ivy Decker on Aug 23, 2017
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In the autumn of 2014, Auto Parts Warehouse released its survey of automotive DIYers on its blog, and the information inside should shape the way aftermarket companies interact and understand the modern automotive DIYer. In this post, we'll take you through the standout points of that survey on automotive aftermarket industry trends. Read on to learn more about the results.

Here's the infographic from Auto Parts Warehouse we'll be referring to:


Today's Automotive Aftermarket Has More DIYers Than Ever

It's not easy (or maybe even possible) to pinpoint why there are more automotive DIYers today than in years past, but we are pretty sure internet access is responsible for at least part of that growth. Not as long ago as we might think, non-professionals would have trouble finding the information they needed to perform a car repair. They'd either have to find someone to teach them or consult some piece of technical literature. Now that most of us can access a search engine at just about any time, we can get tutorials that are easy to read and help us complete the repair.


Additionally, while saving money has always been a major motivator for automotive DIYers, the survey revealed that a significant number of DIYers also perform repairs because they genuinely enjoy doing the work. To some DIYers, it seems that repairs aren't just a necessity; they're also a hobby. Check out our recent blog post for a more in-depth look at the motivations behind DIY automotive work.

Key stats:

  • 44% of all auto DIYers in the 2014 survey reported that they are taking on more DIY car repairs
  • 66% said they enjoy the work itself
  • 79% say they do the work to save money
  • 94% continue to DIY their vehicles in spite of improved finances

More Difficult DIY Jobs in the Aftermarket

Confidence is rising among automotive DIYers. They reported that they're now more likely to take on more difficult repairs themselves than they were just two years ago. Again, this might have something to do with the access to information (tutorials, blog posts, videos, and more) that teaches DIYers how to do their own auto work. Another factor that might be coming into play here is the increasing availability of aftermarket parts and tools available online for DIYers to buy. What this section of the survey tells us is that while small jobs like changing batteries and wiper blades are still a big part of automotive DIY, people are also interested in more complex DIY projects, like changing oil, spark plugs, and even mufflers.

Key stats:

  • 67% of all DIYers in the 2014 survey said they were more likely to take on a more challenging repair job than they would have attempted two years earlier.
  • 80% say easy access to parts online making them more likely to DIY

Women in the Automotive Aftermarket

Women are not new to the automotive DIY world; in fact, research has reported for years that the number of women performing auto DIY has been increasing. However, while your business should recognize that women are, indeed, part of your DIY audience, your marketing strategy or process might not need to change. The most important thing to think about is the way you approach female auto DIYers, both as part of your collective audience and as individuals.

automotive-aftermarket-industry-trendsWe love the way puts this concept: "Accommodating female customers does not mean rearranging your entire store; rather, the only things that may need rearranging are your attitude and preconceived notions of gender roles." Consider this a friendly reminder not to assume a female buying aftermarket parts or tools doesn't know what she's doing. It's also not enough to just offer products that come in pink.

The key is understanding who the women in automotive are and offering them the support they actually need while making repairs.

Key stats:

Staying Up to Date with Automotive Aftermarket Industry Trends

Keeping up with automotive aftermarket trends can help you understand how to best help your DIY consumer, as well as tailor the content you create to attract those customers to you. If we think about what we've learned in this post, it boils down to this: People are enthusiastic about DIY auto work. They're doing more of it because of the increased resources and support out there, especially when it comes to easily finding quality information online about how to best complete a repair. If you've got expertise to share, the DIY auto community is looking for you; you just have to help them find what they need.

man working under hood of car, 44 percent of automotive diyers say they are doing more work now, invitation to download guide to automotive diyers

Topics: Marketing to Makers, Automotive Enthusiasts

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