Dealer orders volumes steady in August, in line with pre-COVID levels

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Dealer parts and sales volumes fell slightly last month after hitting a high-water mark for the year in July, KEA Advisors reported Monday as part of its weekly dealer volume survey.

The month-to-month drop was minimal in the parts space, with invoice totals slipping from 157,300 orders in July to 155,700 orders in August among the 79 dealers responding to the KEA survey.

August’s total also was lower than June but well ahead of both the of 135,700 orders placed in May — the weakest parts order month of the year — and the average of 150,067 orders placed in the first quarter that mostly occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

KEA Advisors also reports the second-to-last week of August (Week 35) recorded the most parts invoices of the entire year at 38,200 orders, while last week’s total of more than 37,000 invoices was in the year’s top five.

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Parts data wasn’t quite as encouraging on a sales per invoice basis, with average total sales per invoice falling by more than $3 from July to $279.84. KEA Advisors says August’s total ranks fifth among the eight months recorded this year.

Repair order invoices also slipped in August among KEA Advisors’ 81 survey responders, trending down 3 percent to 24,130 units. KEA Advisors says that total was the lowest since May’s trough of 20,640 ROs and in line with the industry’s monthly average pre-COVID.

Average labor sales per RO in August was reported at $551. KEA Advisors says that total is the lowest of the year, but is likely to increase in the coming weeks as more complicated repairs that began in August are complete. For reference, average labor sales for July were first reported at $541 before trending up to $639 in Monday’s report.

Average labor sales per repair order peaked at $676 in March and have yet to surpass $645 since April, KEA Advisors reports.

For more information from KEA Advisor’s weekly volume indicator dealer surveys, please CLICK HERE

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