Maintenance and distribution networks

The EQUIP AUTO network sector breaks down into different segments or markets: distribution, repair and maintenance, e-commerce, software publishers, roadworthiness testing networks, etc.

Brand networks

More than 70% of the market in automotive repairs, maintenance and other dedicated services is today organised into a multitude of brand networks, known as manufacturers or independents.

This network organisation applies to all of the sectors in the aftermarket, from mechanical and bodywork repairs and maintenance to roadworthiness testing, parts and accessories distribution, tyre distribution, used vehicles and vehicle washes.

The car wash and waste collection networks - bringing together the most representative players, the leaders in their field of activity alongside boutique firms and SMEs - are all at the service of maintenance and repair professionals.
The alternative offering to vehicle brand networks is made up of 17,500 MRA (approved repair mechanics), 12,000 of which operate under a brand name.
In total there are 35,000 points of sale (repair shops, resellers, distributors).
These firms are not related in any way with the vehicle manufacturer and do not therefore represent any brands other than their own or that of their grouping.

Fast fitters developed alongside auto centres and at the same time, during the first oil crisis of 1973. On this occasion, groups such as Speedy and Midas grew by specialising in routine repairs such as exhaust replacements.

3 types of network

Distribution brands

These brands were created at the initiative of MRA suppliers: independent distributors gathered together in the federation FEDA. These distributors, in the same way as dealers, carry out the logistics of replacement parts for the agents of RA2 networks, MRA and auto centres. In light of the increasing complexity of cars and MRAs’ requirements for training and tooling, distributors formed networks which today feature among the largest today.
OEM brands

In the same vein, the manufacturers of original replacement parts and diagnostic tools who themselves are suppliers to independent distributors and vehicle manufacturers, set up their own MRA networks.
Vehicle manufacturer brands

Realising that they were losing market share on the second part of the car life cycle, automakers reacted by creating multi-brand repair networks in a similar way to the other two sectors. These networks rely on the logistics of the manufacturer through its dealership network without displaying the car manufacturer’s brand, enabling enhanced cost control.

Auto centres in the aftermarket in France

The business model of automotive centres emerged in the 1970s with the first widespread trend of installing car radios in cars.

The sector really took off with motorists fitting equipment in cars they already owned, rather than in new vehicles. This led auto centres to develop workshops immediately adjacent to their shops. But at the end of the 1980s, with sales of car radios tailing off due to automakers fitting them as standard in new vehicles, automotive centres were forced to focus their development on more traditional aftermarket segments such as brakes and tyres.
These market players started to take more formal shape and become more concentrated, leading to the formation of groups with high growth capabilities (both organic and external) and communications resources.
It should be noted that not all of these firms share the same development model: some are based on a dense network through franchising, whereas others develop by creating new service points as subsidiaries.

The sector's product categories

- Auto body repair networks :
Auto body repair networks; Detailing specialists; Fast fitters and used vehicle preparation networks

- Auto glass repair networks

- Garage networks

- Miscellaneous dealerships (microcars and other motor driven machines)

- MOT networks

- Vehicle manufacturers :
After-sales service; Customer service; Dealer networks; Multi-brand networks; Spare parts

- Wholesale groups - Franchises - Auto centers - Fast fitters :
Auto centers; Distribution centres; Fast fitters; Franchised networks; Wholesale groups - Buying groups


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