This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Despite a severe disruption in the mobility industry due to a significant drop in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for automotive aftermarket products is moderately positive. As the economic repercussions affect new car purchases, an aging car population continues to fuel demand for automotive aftermarket parts and accessories in Honduras. An estimated 70 percent of the total vehicle population, registered at over 2 million units in 2019, is at least five years old and in need of repair. The number of motorized vehicles is predicted to double in five years’ time and the distances traveled should also increase due to an accelerated urban expansion. Growing consumer awareness over the importance of scheduled servicing and preventive maintenance is also influencing the market.
Out of the total vehicle population circulating in Honduras in 2019, 35 percent are motorcycles, followed by pick-up trucks and jeeps (22%); light duty passenger vehicles (24%): SUVs (7%); trucks (4%); buses (4%); heavy-duty vehicles (3%); Other categories (1%). The introduction of U.S. manufactured vehicles has also increased significantly over recent years, providing greater opportunities for American exporters. Honduras has no local production of automotive parts and accessories. The United States is one of the major suppliers in this sector, along with Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
There are more than 300 retailers of automotive parts and accessories in Honduras who buy directly from overseas or through local distributors. Major mechanical auto repair industry segments include service stations, specialty repair shops, auto parts stores, vehicle dealers and independent garages. Japanese cars and light trucks dominate the market but parts are often purchased through the United States. With the elimination of import tariffs based on engine size, American-made pickups, SUVs, heavy trucks and buses have stronger shares of the local market. There are several major U.S. automotive dealers present in the Honduran market.
Overall, most auto care products and service equipment are expected to offer good sales opportunities in the Honduran market, including:
- All types of engine spare parts
- Chemicals, motor oils and additives
- Tools and equipment
- Tires and wheels
- Safety equipment
- Car care and cleaning
- Undercar and under hood products
- Electrical and brake system components
- Transmission and suspension parts
- Bumpers, spoilers, and tail lights
- Mobile electronics, alarms, and sound systems
- Repair shop, paint, tools, and equipment
- A/C Repair; refrigerants
- Emission control services
- Alignments, diagnostics, spark plugs
U.S. exports of automotive parts, service equipment, and accessories benefit from tariff reductions under the CAFTA-DR trade agreement. Used automobiles and passenger motor vehicles no more than 10 and 13 years old, respectively, may be imported. Major trends in the automotive aftermarket sector in Honduras include increasing car ownership due to rapid urbanization, low fuel prices, an emerging delivery market, and a rising average vehicle life as COVID-19 related economic pressures force consumers to delay new vehicle purchases. Light personal vehicles are also likely to be the preferred domestic travel option instead of commercial or public transportation, as consumers recover from social distancing measures.
With so many challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, automotive aftermarket businesses are re-visiting their business models and tracking worldwide emerging trends, such as e-commerce sales and a Do-it-Yourself market.
The Commercial Service Office in Tegucigalpa will be supporting and actively promoting the AAIW (SEMA/AAPEX 2020) virtual event. AAIW is the most important retail and specialty automotive aftermarket trade event in the United States, and a very popular venue among Honduran importers.
U.S. Commercial Service – Honduras
Rossana Lobo, Senior Commercial Specialist