Auto Service World
News   November 25, 2022   by Adam Malik

Aftermarket group restructures for stronger voice

Three aftermarket-related groups will combine into one branch under restructured organization

AASA president and COO Paul McCarthy speaks at the AASA’s 2022 Global Summit in Coral Gables, Florida

One of the oldest trade groups with members that include the automotive aftermarket is restructuring in an effort to strengthen its voice as the industry proceeds to some of the most significant changes it has ever seen.

The 118-year-old Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association is bringing four of its divisions closer together, uniting three of them as the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Group.

This new group will be made up of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Associations (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA).

The AASA is made up of many aftermarket suppliers. Along with The Auto Care Association, it owns and hosts AAPEX in Las Vegas.

“Today, rapid changes are impacting our industry and we must be more adaptive and agile to respond,” said Bill Long, president and CEO of MEMA, in a statement. “These industry challenges are not unique to one market segment but affect the entire membership. We must position MEMA for the future in a way that supports our vision of a growing, profitable, and influential supplier community.”

In a media conference call, AASA president Paul McCarthy explained that the move is an effort to prepare for the future.

“And more importantly, we’re taking steps to better help our members be prepared for a changing future so we can serve them,” he said.

McCarthy cited an increasing number of common issues across many of the member sectors, such as electric vehicles, connectivity and vehicle automation. There are also further challenges such as workforce, diversity, equity and inclusion and sustainability.

“These are places where the challenges, the education and the advocacy are increasingly common for manufacturers in the aftermarket,” McCarthy said. So, with this move, we believe we are positioned to remain relevant far into the future, and most importantly, help lead our members through times of change and towards the bright future that we believe our industry and our supplier members deserve and will enjoy.”

The members of the three previous groups will transition to the larger one. In some cases, companies were members of multiple associations under the MEMA umbrella.

“We think one of the greatest impacts is this gives suppliers a stronger voice and allows us to continue to champion the interests of aftermarket suppliers,” McCarthy said, using ‘right to repair’ as one example. “And this further strengthens their power as we take on this important issue.”

Meanwhile, the fourth group under MEMA, the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, will rebrand as the MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers Group.

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