March 31, 2017

The Aftermarket Analyst, April 2017

The Future of the Automobile It’s the topic at the forefront of everybody’s thinking. There’s nothing worse for the bottom line than getting stuck at the back of the pack, or to have not even gotten started in the first place. But when everybody has an opinion, and everybody has an angle with regards to automobiles and autonomy, how do you decide to whom you should listen? Are you persuaded by the futurists who promise a mobility utopia? Or are you persuaded by the less enthusiastic because we’ve been promised things before that haven’t panned out and you don’t want to get your hopes up? Can seemingly opposing viewpoints both be correct? In a word: yes. In two words: why not? It all comes down to what it is you’re talking about when you talk about autonomy. Some people envision relaxed drives up and down the interstate not having to pay attention between on and off ramps, maybe reading a book, watching a movie, or getting some sleep. Some people envision reinventing urban areas and returning concrete jungles back into something more natural. Some people envision an electric revolution where the internal combustion engine is banished to the ash heap […]
February 10, 2017

San Jose Mercury News: Staking a claim in the auto industry’s evolving technology

Read Dan’s interview with the San Jose Mercury News about the changes going on in the automotive industry and aftermarket: Staking a claim in the auto industry’s evolving technology
January 12, 2017

The Aftermarket Analyst, January 2017

A look back at some significant deals of 2016 The three trends Capstone Financial Group has identified as key to the auto aftermarket industry in the next year and beyond are: disintermediation, food chain acquisitions, and Detroit moving to Silicon Valley. We wrote about Silicon Valley in the last newsletter. To explain the other two trends, it helps to look back and review some key 2016 deals; specifically deals in the Jeep/4×4/Truck Accessory category. Key 2016 Jeep/4×4/Truck Accessories deals Nearly all of the above are examples of companies that not only have dealer networks, but sell their products online directly to the consumer. And importantly, all of the companies have similar multi-pronged sales strategies. This doesn’t necessarily portend the end of dealer networks or installers—although they have their own challenges to consider—it just means that manufacturers are taking advantage of the technology that wasn’t available to them 15 or 10 or 5 years ago. Online sales and marketing allows companies to expand their reach exponentially, and an educated consumer is a boon to the manufacturer and the dealer and installer network. Adapt or die. The companies listed in the table are all adapting. A Prime Example Bestop is a prime […]
October 25, 2016

The Aftermarket Analyst

Why Silicon Valley? Quick: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody says “automotive aftermarket”? Is it struts and shocks and brakes? Lift kits and roll bars and “go-faster” parts? Or do you wring your hands and wonder what things like ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles will mean for the future? It’s a big, fast-moving world, so a proper perspective about what’s in store for all of us is in order. First things first Let’s get one thing out of the way: Americans still love their cars and trucks. The Federal Highway Administration estimated we drove our vehicles 3.148 trillion miles in 2015, besting the previous high of 3.003 trillion in 2007. The estimates for 2016 aren’t showing any slowdown. Combine that with data showing people are keeping vehicles longer than ever, and you have a recipe for strong aftermarket automotive growth. So if your focus is on the parts that break and need replacing, or even the performance parts business, you’re golden. Right? Well, yes…for now. But that’s no excuse for ignoring the trends or refusing to think about the future of automobile transportation. Why should I care about Uber or Lyft or Zipcar or Didi Chuxing or […]