Millennials a “perfect storm” of aftermarket opportunity

by | Jun 25, 2020 | 0 comments

The Automotive Industries Association Of Canada has just released its latest in a series of aftermarket consumer research reports: “Understanding Millennials: A quick profile of young Canadian vehicle owners.”

aftermarket millennials report cover

The report is a detailed review of responses received received from a total field of more than 2000 Canadian adults. This report focuses on results from the 330 millennials age 25 to 34.

Among the more startling facts revealed in the report – other than the uncomfortable realization that millennials are no longer the young upstarts they once were, but are now moving firmly into mortgage bearing age – is the fluidity with which they select their aftermarket automotive service providers.

This group is among the most comfortable with online purchases and their comfort level with using online resources is probably also a significant factor in their comfort level with do it yourself service.

Some 20% of responses said that they never bring their vehicle to a dealership or ASP, 44% say they do some themselves but also bring the car in to professionals, and 36% stated that they only go to a dealership or ASP whenever maintenance or repair is required.

While just under half, 49%, note that they feel helpless bringing their vehicle in for maintenance and repair, almost an equal amount, 48%, believe they stay on top of their service with their vehicle.

This last point may elicit some raised eyebrows from those in the aftermarket who have had occasion to service a number of neglected vehicles, it is important to note that the survey results are based on what respondents believe they do, not necessarily what they actually do.

Case in point is that 63% of millennials reported that they are very or somewhat knowledegable when it comes to vehicle maintenance repair. When broken out by gender some 78% of men compares to 48% of women who feel this way.

It is also interesting to note that among this group of millennials 31% state that they are owning their first vehicle and equal number stating that they are onto their second vehicle. Without having the data to rely on, it is perhaps somewhat notable that many of previous generations would have cycled through more vehicles by the time they hit the top limit of this age range at 34, with many Boomers and Gen-Xers having hit the lower end of the age or 24 already having owned, driven, and discarded a whole series of beaters.

“Millennial vehicle owners represent somewhat of a perfect storm for a ASPs, ” says the report. “For starters this cohort is the most likely to feel that their vehicle maintenance and repair is a medium to low priority for them. We also see that there is a high DIY rate amongst this cohort and that they have the highest online shopping incidents where the most common items purchased include motor oil and tower tires. The good news is that among millennial‘s who do use a maintenance and repair service provider, this cohort is the most likely to use ASPs either exclusively or in combination with the dealership ,roughly four out of five of these customers are coming through your doors. “

For the complete report, visit


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