Sales Jump at Oil Change Centers


Sales Jump at Oil Change Centers
A mechanic performs an oil change at a service station. © Roman Zaiets

Sales at United States oil change and lubrication shops rose 11% last year to $7 billion, a joint report by the Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers association found. It marked a second straight year of double-digit percentage increase in sales, following a pandemic-related decline in 2020 to $5.7 billion.

The channel forecast model covers sales histories and forecasts for many automotive aftermarket categories. According to the report, after growing in sales by a compound annual rate of 5% during 2017 to 2022, the forecasted compound annual sales growth rate from 2021 through 2026 is expected to rise to nearly 7%, reaching about $8.7 billion sales.

On average, sales per oil change and lubrication shop in the U.S. climbed 9% to $909,084 in 2022, compared to $832,508 in 2021. During the five years beginning in 2018, the average sales per shop increased at a compound annual rate of 4%.

Do-it-for me sales at such shops continued to dominate in 2022, accounting for 96% of total sales, compared to 4% for do-it-yourself sales, unchanged from 2021.

According to preliminary U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the number of oil change and lubrication shops in the U.S. increased 2% to 7,693 as of last year’s third quarter, compared to 7,516 at the end of 2021. Although the total has only risen at a 1% compound annual rate during 2014 to 2022, last year’s figure represented the third consecutive year of year-on-year increases.

The channel forecast model follows the North American Industry Classification System, which defines automotive oil change and lubrication shops as establishments primarily engaged in changing motor oil and lubricating the chassis of automotive vehicles. The system is used for establishment-based federal economic statistics classified by industry for the United States, Mexico and Canada.

In addition to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the other main sources of data used as inputs in the channel forecast model are U.S. Economic Census data, Industrial Marketing Research Inc. and S&P Global Mobility, for economic data as well as industry data provided by its automotive group.