For the week of June 21, national RO was down -8% falling short of our forecast (-4%) by -4%. New Covid-19 cases last week set a new record at over 250k and likely contributed to the drop in RO activity. Our forecast for next week is -8% versus 2019.
For the week of June 7, national RO was down only -5% beating our forecast (-8%) by 3%. The week of June 14 dropped back to -6%. New Covid-19 cases jumped up over 180k for the first time since April. Our forecast for next week is -4% versus 2019.
This week we don’t have the weekly RO data available to report national and market level numbers or to evaluate previous forecasts and present new forecasts. We will return to the regular RO data reporting and forecasting next week. Thank you for your patience.
In the meantime, we’re providing 2020 historical data for each of the 20 markets we track. This was requested by one of our readers and hopefully it will be useful to many of you. Feel free to send content suggestions like this anytime to email@example.com.
Despite ongoing civil unrest across the US, National RO was down only -9% beating our forecast (-11%) by 2%. New Covid-19 cases stayed below 150k for the third week in a row but moved up slightly from the week prior. Our forecast for next week is -8% versus 2019.
Despite the Memorial Day holiday and protests erupting nationwide, National RO was down only -10% beating our forecast (-11%) by a nose. New Covid-19 cases stayed below 150k for the second week in a row. Our forecast for next week is -11% versus 2019.
Repair Order (RO) activity in the US continues to recover, albeit at a slower pace since early May. The forecast for national RO in our last issue was -12%, which was close but off by 1% with RO activity -13% for the week of May 17 versus the same week in 2019. Meanwhile, new US Covid-19 case counts dropped below 150k for the first time in eight weeks.
On a national level, Repair Order (RO) activity continues to recover (see Figure 1). The forecast for national RO in our last issue was -15%, proving to be accurate. We don’t expect to be this accurate every week but we’ll enjoy it this week.
Two weeks ago we released the inaugural issue of the Aftermarket Pulse, a new collaboration between Full Throttle Technologies, a provider of automotive Repair Order (RO) data and Aftermarket Analytics, a provider of cloud-based software services for demand forecasting and inventory management. In this second issue, we’re sharing updated national Repair Order (RO) data, through the week beginning April 26, and we’re looking closer at three of the hardest hit individual markets. In addition, we are delivering our first set of RO activity forecasts.
On a national level there are clear signs of increasing RO activity after bottoming in early April (see Figure 1). Perhaps this increase is related to protests against shelter in place orders or perhaps it reflects a public growing weary of staying home, especially as weather improves and States begin to ease restrictions on businesses. We may also be seeing pent up demand for deferred vehicle maintenance and repair. In any case, we are encouraged to see what appears to be the formation of a bottom and an upward trend.
The purpose of this white paper is to communicate (1) a new partnership and (2) a new set of data analysis capabilities available to suppliers, distributors and retailers in the automotive aftermarket. The new partnership is a collaboration between Full Throttle Technologies and Aftermarket Analytics. Full Throttle Technologies is a provider of automotive repair order (RO) data and Aftermarket Analytics is a provider of analytical software solutions for demand forecasting and inventory management. Combined, the two companies bring together an extensive network of RO data and cutting edge analytics enabling aftermarket professionals to use RO data to drive inventory decisions and supply chain efficiency.
Together, our companies provide a unique solution and an opportunity to better understand market level auto repair shop activity. The Full Throttle Technologies team has queried their massive database to provide RO activity by market for the top 20 largest metropolitan markets in the United States for 2019 and YTD 2020. The Aftermarket Analytics team has analyzed these data to provide a market-by-market snapshot of how the Covid-19 crisis has impacted automotive repair activity. The results, as expected, are fairly startling in terms of the extent to which RO activity has dropped while Covid-19 has spread (see Figure 1).
The map above shows temperature anomalies across the Conterminous US for calendar year 2019 through November. These anomalies relate specifically to daily Low temperatures. Where you see red, daily low temperatures were warmer than 20th Century averages (darker reds indicate much warmer daily low temps). Generally speaking, 2019 has been a much warmer than average (vs 20th Century) year, especially in the Eastern US and along the Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic Coasts (where the vast majority of Americans live). The Northern Rockies, Dakotas and western Great Plains areas have seen cooler temperatures but this isn’t as significant for most consumer products businesses because there aren’t as many people in the region.
Why look at daily low temperature anomalies? There could be many reasons but one reason is that some consumer products sell a lot more or a lot less depending on weather. For example, the starter motor in your car is far more likely to fail when the nightly low temperature is really low. So, companies in the automotive aftermarket are accustomed to selling lots of starters in the late fall and winter months when temperatures plummet.
But, what if they don’t plummet? Well, that might lead to lower sales volumes for the starter produce category. It might also leave a lot of starter inventory sitting on shelves at distribution centers. In other words, this can have a major impact on the starter motor supply chain. This appears to be the case in a large portion of the Eastern US where aftermarket companies may have expected lower sales due to milder overnight low temperatures.