The North American HVAC components aftermarket will recover from market erosion, with modest growth forecasted over the next five to seven years. However, manufacturers still must confront long-term strategic challenges posed by imported parts and declining replacement rates.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive & Transportation Group finds that the North American HVAC Components Aftermarket earned revenues of $920.3 million in 2005 and estimates to reach $955.5 million in 2012.
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“This industry will witness small, incremental growth based on the increase in system renewals rather than single part replacement and the fact that manufacturers will be better positioned to pass on price increases in the coming years,” observes Industry Analyst Stephen Spivey. “As compressors and condensers are replaced at the same time to reduce the risk of contamination, and as vehicles receive a new accumulator or receiver-drier any time the system is opened, unit shipment in seldom-replaced HVAC system parts, such as evaporators and expansion valves will increase. Prices will increase because imports have saturated the aftermarket and have already reduced prices to the lowest level.”
Some distributors are offering incentives, such as price discounts or better warranty terms, to installers who buy the complete heating or air-conditioning system rather than a single part. For example, if the installer buys the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and accumulator or receiver-drier together, then the distributor will extend the full manufacturer warranty to guarantee the parts. But the warranty may expire after 90 days when the installer buys a single part.
Manufacturers are coping with a trend of declining replacement rates for HVAC components in the North American aftermarket. The service life of original equipment parts in use when the owner buys the vehicle has increased as automakers seek to improve the quality of new cars and trucks. This delays the entry of vehicles into the aftermarket, resulting in a lower percentage of vehicles in-use receiving a replacement part annually.
“The challenge of fewer vehicles entering the replacement parts aftermarket has been compounded by recent offers from automakers of no-cost financing for new vehicle purchases. With so many people buying new cars and trucks, it has taken older vehicles in the prime replacement period for new heating and air-conditioning systems off the road,” comments Spivey.
The North American aftermarket has responded to competitive challenges by moving production activities to countries where costs are low, particularly to China. However, recent merger and acquisition activity has helped leading suppliers like Proliance International Inc. to streamline manufacturing and distribution operations and to increase their buying power. Other manufacturers have shed unprofitable accounts, increased prices, and implemented cost-reduction programs to remove waste from the production process.
North American Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Components Aftermarket, part of the North American Automotive Aftermarket subscription, includes research in the following markets: brake system parts, exhaust system parts and lighting components. All research included in subscriptions provides detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Analyst interviews with the press are available.
Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.
North American HVAC Components Aftermarket