The U.S. automotive market experienced a record year in 2016 with 17.55 million vehicles sold, putting an end to a decade of uncertainty and low sales. Even with all these new cars on the road, the average vehicle in the U.S. is at an all-time high of 11.5 years old and there are over 14 million cars on the road over the age of 25. With so many aging vehicles, the automotive aftermarket is thriving and has become one of the fastest-growing segment in online sales.

Enter Amazon. The eCommerce juggernaut is not new to automotive sales, having originally introduced auto parts to the platform back in 2006. Last year Amazon expanded its automotive arsenal by launching its own car research site and a parts marketplace, which allows shoppers to punch in their make and model to search for the correct parts. This and other conveniences reveal that the automotive aftermarket is not escaping Amazon’s notice and the impact of Amazon on the market is already disruptive.


The NumbersAmazon-US-Automotive-parts-sales-data

  • $277 billion: Total 2016 U.S. automotive aftermarket sales.
  • $2.4 billion: 2016 Automotive sales.
  • $1.4 billion: 2017 YTD Automotive sales.
  • 16%: YoY growth of Automotive sales.

*Figures reflect Amazon first-party sellers only

In 2017 so far, specialty auto parts companies such as O’Reilly Automotive, AutoZone and Advanced Auto Parts have underperformed in the stock market, according to Canton Rep, despite expectations to the contrary. This has caused many investors to reassess the market and look elsewhere for disruptors. After long overlooking its ability to compete in the automotive aftermarket, industry analysts are finally starting to recognize Amazon as a serious player.Amazon-automotive-parts-top-ASINS-sales

U.S. Top-selling Automotive Categories 2017 Q1 & Q2

Truck Accessories$185M
Towing/Towing Accessories$70M
Bedliners/Covers/Deflectors/Shields/Sun Protection$40M
Replacement Parts --
Engine Management$50M
Wiper Motors/Blades$25M
Automotive Equipment & Tools$150M
Battery & Electrical System Equipment$55M
Paint/Body Tools & Equipment$20M
RV Parts & Accessories$130M
Appliances, Heating, A/C, Power, Electrical & Electronics$35M
Fresh Water & Waste Water Systems$30M
Replacement Parts - Undercar$130M

Two major trends in automotive aftermarket sales are that owners of older cars exhibit desirable maintenance behaviors, while new car owners tend to invest in appearance products. With the fleet of vehicles on the road aging rapidly in the U.S., more and more car owners are turning to Amazon for their replacement parts, with Underhood and Undercar Replacement Parts generating nearly $300M in sales during the first two quarters of 2017 alone, a growth of 20% YoY.

Beating out both replacement parts categories is Truck Accessories with $185M. Sales are driven by Towing Accessories, making up over a third of the total category sales and responsible for the two top items: an electronic brake control from Tekonsha and a 9500lb capacity winch from Smittybilt. Growth in Truck Accessories is low, however, with most gains in the product group coming from appearance products such as Wheel & Tire Accessories (55%) and Appearance Chemicals (30%).Amazon-top-selling-items-data-for-US

U.S. Top Automotive Sellers 2017 Q1 & Q2

Stanley Jump Starter with CompressorAutomotive Equipment & Tools - Battery & Electrical System Equipment
Jump-N-Carry 12V Jump StarterAutomotive Equipment & Tools - Battery & Electrical System Equipment
NOCO Genius Boost Plus UltraSafe Lithium Jump StarterAutomotive Equipment & Tools - Battery & Electrical System Equipment
Tekonsha P3 Electronic Brake ControlTruck Accessories - Towing/Towing Accessories
Optima Batteries BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle MarineUndercar Performance Parts - Electrical & Rotating Electrical
Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery ChargerAutomotive Equipment & Tools - Battery & Electrical System Equipment
Smittybilt Winch - 9500lb Load CapacityTruck Accessories - Towing/Towing Accessories
Keeper Waterproof Roof Top Cargo Bag Truck Accessories - Cargo Management, Interior/Exterior
Furrion Wireless High-Speed RV Observation SystemRV Parts & Accessories - Appliances, Heating, A/C, Power, Electical & Electronics
X-Chock Wheel Stabilizer Pair - One Handle RV Parts & Accessories - Leveling, Towing & Stabilization

UK/France/Germany AutomotiveAmazon-Automotive-parts-international-revenue-analysis

In Europe, Amazon’s Automotive sales are driven by Equipment & Tools, the top category in both the UK and France and one of the top categories in Germany. In all three countries, Automotive Equipment & Tools is responsible for many of the best selling items in the first two quarters of 2017, with the top category item across the board being a car battery charger: a CTEK model in the UK and Germany and a Black & Decker model in France. The popular of Equipment & Tools, Car Care, and Wear & Tear parts across all countries indicates a rise in DIY car maintenance, with many hobby mechanics turning to Amazon for their tools and supplies.

UK, France, & Germany 2017 Q1 & Q2 Top Categories

UK Sales£32,000,000
Automotive Equipment & Tools£6,000,000
Car Care, Chemicals & Fluids£5,000,000
Automotive Accessories£4,500,000
Caravanning & Campers£2,500,000
Wear & Tear Parts Car & Truck£2,000,000
FR Sales€14,000,000
Automotive Equipment & Tools €2,500,000
Automotive Accessories €1,500,000
Car Care, Chemicals & Fluids €1,500,000
Caravanning & Campers €1,500,000
Wear & Tear Parts Car & Truck €1,000,000
DE Sales€98,000,000
Transporting & Storage €13,000,000
Car Care, Chemicals & Fluids €12,000,000
Tires & Rims €12,000,000
Caravanning & Campers €10,000,000
Automotive Equipment & Tools €9,000,000

Key Findings

The automotive industry is flooded with incumbents. Compared to many other product groups, Amazon is going up against many well-established retailers in their efforts to disrupt the automotive aftermarket sector. Judging by the first two quarters of 2017, Amazon is making some serious inroads, and the business opportunity for brands selling through the eCommerce platform is looking more attractive than ever. The key markets – aging vehicle maintenance, DIY mechanics, and a wave of new car sales driven by the recovered economy – are experiencing significant growth on Amazon and brands are taking note.

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