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Understanding the Vehicle Battery Aftermarket in the European and Emerging Markets

Understanding the Vehicle Battery Aftermarket in the European and Emerging Markets

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Executive Summary

The demands placed on vehicle batteries are increasing, influencing their complexity and affecting how and where motorists replace them. Their complexity makes them more difficult to replace, impacting motorists' purchasing behaviours and the wider aftermarket. This report draws on Verdict's proprietary in-house data to explore the factors shaping the batteries market.


As the parc ages in the emerging markets and cars exit the manufacturer warranty period, opportunities present themselves in each aftermarket channel. The greatest opportunities are found in China, where over 65% of vehicles are under four years old. This is a challenge for dealerships, but an opportunity for manufacturer-affiliated fast fits.

Across the leading five European countries, garages and VMNs command the biggest market share. By 2017, the volume of starter batteries sold in these countries will decrease by 1.2%. The share of sales taken by garages and VMNs will increase while the proportion of the market occupied by parts stores and hypermarkets will decline.

As batteries become more complex, Verdict expects that, in the longer term, there will be a defined split in the market, with VMNs and large garage networks supporting and servicing the demands of the start-stop market, whilst smaller independent garages continue to service the standard battery market.

Reasons To Buy

Understand how consumer trends influence how and where motorists get their battery replaced.

Target which markets are most and least likely to use particular types of batteries, and see their growth potential.

See how the value and volume of the batteries market will change over time by region and by channel.

Your key questions answered

Which markets demonstrate the greatest growth potential for starter batteries and which channels will benefit?

How do motorists decide which brand of battery to buy, what influences the decision and what opportunities does this present for retailers?

What opportunities exist for all channels to maximise their potential share of the batteries market?

1 Overview

1.1 Battery aftermarket sales

2 Outlook

2.1 Start-stop

2.2 Emissions regulations

2.3 Start-stop and the impact on battery sales volumes

2.4 Batteries are continuing to evolve

3 The Changing Role of Vehicle Batteries

3.1 Vehicle batteries - a brief history

3.2 Battery quality is improving

3.3 AGM batteries market grows, reflecting increase in start-stop technology

3.4 Demand for AGM/EFB batteries will lag in Eastern Europe compared with the mature markets

3.5 More electrical functions influence where motorists get their batteries replaced

4 Batteries in the Aftermarket

4.1 Core battery technologies

4.1.1 Lead-acid

4.1.2 Flooded lead-acid

4.1.3 AGM batteries

4.1.4 New lead-acid batteries

4.1.5 Nickel-based batteries

4.1.6 Lithium-based batteries

4.1.7 Super-capacitor

4.1.8 Alternative battery systems

4.1.9 Experimental rechargeable batteries

4.2 Why batteries are critical for the future

5 Volume and Value

5.1 Volume

5.1.1 Emerging markets

5.2 Channel shares by volume

5.2.1 Leading five European markets

5.2.2 Western Europe

5.2.3 Southern Europe

5.3 Value

5.3.1 Value forecasts

5.3.2 Summary

6 Consumer Trends, Distribution Channels and Replacement Rates

6.1 Low average mileage in Sweden

6.2 Servicing and repair channel

6.3 Opportunities and threats

6.4 Purchasing behaviours

6.5 Online

6.6 Reasons for purchasing a particular brand of battery over another

6.7 Trigger for replacement

6.8 Frequency of replacement

7 Technology Trends: Start-Stop and Electric Vehicles

7.1 Hybrid and battery electric vehicles

7.2 Internal combustion engine vehicles

7.3 Vehicles equipped with start-stop technologies

7.4 Polarised demand within Europe

8 Recommendations and Conclusions

8.1 A polarised parc, with demand for AGM/EFB batteries growing in the mature/leading European markets but lagging in Eastern Europe

8.2 Vehicles moving out of warranty period are a threat to dealerships in the emerging markets

8.3 Battery sales volumes will fall but values will increase

8.4 Dealerships, VMNs and supplier groups will benefit, but independent garages will suffer

8.5 Competition amongst battery manufacturers will increase in the short term

8.6 Battery purchasing behaviours strongly linked to the age of the parc

8.7 The pure online channel will not grow significantly

8.8 Emerging markets

9 Appendix

9.1 About Verdict Retail

9.2 Disclaimer

Figure 1: A modern car battery in situ in the engine bay

Figure 2: Advantages and disadvantages of lead-acid batteries

Figure 3: Advantages and disadvantages of AGM batteries

Figure 4: Advantages and disadvantages of nickel-based batteries

Figure 5: Advantages and disadvantages of lithium-based batteries

Figure 6: Advantages and disadvantages of super-capacitors

Figure 7: Starter battery volumes (million) in Europe's leading five, Western and European markets, 2013 and 2017e

Figure 8: Starter battery volumes (million) in the emerging markets, 2012 and 2016e

Figure 9: Battery market channel shares by volume in the leading five European markets (%), 2009-17e

Figure 10: Battery market channel shares by volume in the Western European markets (%), 2009-17e

Figure 11: Battery market channel shares by volume in the Southern European markets (%), 2009- 17e

Figure 12: Starter battery values in the leading five European markets and the emerging markets (EURbn), 2012 and 2016

Figure 13: Average number of kilometres driven (%), by country

Figure 14: Preferred channel for the servicing or replacement of car batteries in the leading five European countries (%)

Figure 15: Use of the online channel for the purchase of automotive batteries (%), by country

Figure 16: Motorists' loyalty to particular brands when buying tyres and batteries (%), by country

Figure 17: Factors influencing motorists' decision to purchase vehicle batteries (%), by country

Figure 18: Motorist attitudes to replacing automotive batteries (%), by country

Figure 19: Starter battery replacement rates (%), by country

Figure 20: Percentage of vehicles in Europe fitted with start-stop batteries (%), 2012-21

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