A detailed analysis of the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) this week started with words of encouragement.
AASA president Paul McCarthy adopted soothing tones to reassure those who logged on to the association’s emergency webinar that the aftermarket will not only survive the crisis but will thrive.
“When we emerge from this, and we will, our aftermarket fundamentals are strong,” he said. “Our importance to consumers is vital.”
He said the association has sent letters to all 50 state governments to remind them that vehicle repair remains an essential service.
“We need functional vehicles to take workers to hospitals, and goods to our grocery stores,” he said.
“It is very strange times that bring us together here today,” he acknowledged. “Though we are facing challenges, we should be hopeful. We are doing difficult things, and aiming for the best possible outcome.”
He acknowledged that all the answers are not known yet. In fact, new questions continue to arise.
AASA senior vice president Chris Gardner echoed the positive sentiments.
“We will recover and we will recover strongly, as this industry always has,” he said.
To discuss what is known however, the webinar heard from
Kevin Depew, deputy chief economist and eminence program leader for tax consulting firms RSM
Mark Segner, vice president of global sales for supply chain consulting firm Descartes Datamyne
Sheldon Klein, a shareholder with the legal firm of Butzel Long
Rebecca Davies, shareholder with the legal firm of Butzel Long
The webinar was recorded and will be made available for viewing online.