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The automotive aftermarket is the secondary market of the automotive industry, concerned with the manufacturing, remanufacturing, distribution, retailing, and installation of all vehicle parts, chemicals, tools, equipment and accessories for light and heavy vehicles, after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to the consumer, which may or may not be manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer.
Estimated as a $257 billion market in the United States, the aftermarket helps keep vehicles on the road by providing consumers the choice of where they want their vehicles serviced, maintained or customized.
The aftermarket encompasses parts for replacement, collision, appearance, and performance, including electric propulsion. The aftermarket provides a wide variety of parts of varying qualities and prices for nearly all vehicle makes and models on the road.
Consumers have the option of repairing their vehicles themselves (known as the do-it-yourself segment) or can take the vehicle to a professional repair facility (known as the do-it-for me segment).
The aftermarket employs 4.54 million people in the United States at manufacturers, distributors, retailers and repair shops (source: AAIA).
In Canada, the automotive aftermarket is a $16.7 billion (CDN) industry that employs more than 410,000 people (source: AIA Canada).
Automobile manufacturers have at times attempted to hinder or suppress automotive aftermarket sales by means of copyright or patent infringement litigation. See, for example, British Leyland Motor Corp. v. Armstrong Patents Co. in the UK, and Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co. in the United States.
- 365 U.S. 336 (1961).
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