Investment in innovation and environmental responsibility will guide the future of the aftermarket

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Innovation and environmental responsibility
Imagem de PIRO por Pixabay

Innovation and environmental responsibility

Innovation and environmental responsibility – Having a car in the garage is a dream for many people. Practicality and comfort in the routine, saving time, safety when driving on the streets, as well as the freedom to get around at any time of the day are some of the reasons for looking for one’s own means of transportation. However, once the vehicle is in their possession, drivers must pay attention to certain aspects of its mechanical condition and, in this regard, the aftermarket is a key ally in providing countless options that benefit automobiles.

Sindipeças (National Union of the Automotive Components Industry) estimates that the Brazilian auto parts industry will earn R$238.2 billion in 2023. Of this amount, the aftermarket accounted for 22.5%. For 2024, the aftermarket segment is expected to account for 22.3% of the R$247.7 billion in sales forecast for the auto parts sector.

Although there is a projection of a slight drop, the sector is expected to continue investing in innovations that keep pace with the main trends in the automotive world. This involves offering an infrastructure with state-of-the-art solutions and an agile service that meets the needs of drivers and motorcyclists.

Next steps for the aftermarket

Despite the timid movement in 2022, investment in new cars became a reality for the Brazilian population last year. According to a report by FENABRAVE (National Federation of Motor Vehicle Distribution), 2,179,356 cars were registered in 2023, compared to 1,957,621 in 2022, an increase of more than 11%. Motorcycles also followed suit, with 1,581,526 motorcycles sold in 2023, an increase of more than 16%.

Faced with high demand on the streets, the aftermarket is feeling the impact of this gradual growth, as well as seeing the emergence of new business opportunities, given the consequent greater demand for automotive care services. It is therefore up to the sector to strengthen the culture of periodic servicing in order to preserve the vehicle and avoid corrective maintenance situations, which weigh more heavily on the consumer’s pocket.

Investment in innovation and environmental responsibility will guide the future of the aftermarket

In synergy with the care of traditional models, vehicle electrification tends to stand out even more, and according to data from ABVE (Brazilian Electric Vehicle Association), sales are expected to exceed 150,000 units by 2024. Given this, the big challenge is to build a charging infrastructure for long distances. On the other hand, large urban centers have already invested in electric stations, which is boosting the circulation of electric cars in cities.

Another trend is the advance of digitalization in the automotive sector. Automakers must invest in disruptive systems, increasing vehicle safety and making them more customized and intelligent. The aftermarket is also relying on innovation to supply this chain. By integrating search engines, for example, it is possible to identify the most suitable solutions, in terms of price and the repairer’s needs.

In addition, technology allows for more assertive, real-time stock control and detailed information on different types of vehicles. This provides a broad view of what should be prioritized, inhibiting unnecessary investments and optimizing cash flow.

The effects of lubricants on the aftermarket

One of the key steps in vehicle servicing is changing the lubricating oil. For this, it is important that drivers follow the recommendations in the manufacturer’s manual to the letter and choose products that are in synergy with the specifics of the car. In this sense, the aftermarket continues to focus on the expansion of lower viscosity products that ensure a reduction in CO₂ emissions. It is even possible to see fleets using 0W-20 and 0W-40 viscosities.

By using these types of lubricants, fuel consumption tends to decrease, generating greater protection for the environment. At the same time, it is up to the companies in the sector to continue to invest in sustainable solutions, making vehicles more environmentally friendly.

In addition to engines, the sector has also paid attention to the care of automatic transmission cars, with products that guarantee complete lubrication of the gearboxes, cleaning them, preventing oxidation and ensuring that they work. In the case of motorcycles, in addition to quality engine lubricants, you also need good suspension and brake fluids to ensure safe riding.

With the recent transformations in the automotive segment in terms of fleet electrification, environmental care, greater use of technology and increased vehicle presence, the aftermarket has more ammunition ahead of it to continue seeking modern alternatives and to prepare professionals in the sector to deal with this scenario. This will certainly boost competitiveness between companies, with drivers, motorcyclists and repairers gaining access to more innovative and sustainable products.

Marcelo Martini is Aftermarket Sales Manager at FUCHS, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of lubricants and related products.