What’s going on? A bunch of things.
- The aftermarket rebounded in 2011, pretty much across all segments. Capacity was tightened in 2009 and 2010, and we met 2011 with much leaner service capacity.
- My guess is that car dealers reacted faster to the recession by cutting capacity (we saw this in the 2010 Recessionary Dealer Survey) and were less willing than the other channels to add back once the market rebounded.
- We will be showing more data from the 2012 Customer Sentiment Survey in future blogs and the upcoming Service Benchmark session, as well as the Digital Summit that focuses on hand-held device strategies. By looking further into the data we see that the number of consumers who use the internet (including owner centers) for service research skyrocketed – in 2010 our survey found that 32% of consumers were Digital Service Customers “DSCs” vs. 55% in 2012 (and this is with 2012 survey responders who were somewhat older than in 2010; in 2010 we identified that DSCs tend to be younger). This increase surpassed our forecast. Switching behaviors went down proportionally (predictable as internet offerings mature), but for the population at large netted out to an overall 29% increase in switching (as a result of internet research). So, people are using the internet more for research and are, as a group, switching providers a lot more than they did last year.