As gas prices climb toward $4 a gallon, many consumers are reacting by driving less, but many others are seeking fuel efficiency through vehicle maintenance, a tremendous marketing opportunity for aftermarket service and parts businesses, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).
Based on a consumer study conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for AAIA, 95 percent of consumers understand that proper vehicle maintenance improves vehicle performance and increases miles per gallon. Fuel efficiency as a motivational factor that influences consumer vehicle maintenance decisions has increased 20 percent in the last five years, outpacing dependability and safety.
"Results of our survey combined with major increases in consumer inquiries received by the Car Care Council clearly demonstrate that motorists are seeking ways to take control of their vehicle’s gas usage," said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. "Never before has the aftermarket service and parts businesses been handed such a clear-cut marketing strategy. Communicating and marketing the gas savings aspect of DIFM and DIY vehicle maintenance will drive more traffic to shops and stores."
One third of consumers claim they already changed their driving behavior when gas prices reached $3 a gallon by cutting back on driving and maintaining their vehicle better, according to the survey. But when gas prices hit $4 a gallon, more than 65 percent of American drivers will change their driving behavior.