Auto Service World
News   March 1, 2019   by Adam Malik

Amazon auto head to speak at AASA Vision

Conference to also to preview ‘new retail’ study

Gary Silberg of KPMG speaks at the AASA Vision Conference in 2018.

Mention the name of Amazon to an aftermarket professional and the response may not be positive.

Warranted or not, Amazon is playing a significant role in the changing aftermarket landscape. And the head of Amazon’s automotive director will be on hand to speak with suppliers at the annual Vision Conference from the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.

Adam Goetsch is just one of the presenters at the conference, slated for April 3 at The Henry in Dearborn, Mich., on the evolving channel model.

The the session will explore new avenues in response to consumer habits changing.

“We have witnessed the tremendous growth and impact Amazon has experienced,” said Bill Long, MEMA president and CEO and AASA president and chief operating officer.

“At the Vision conference, Amazon will be sharing its point of view on the aftermarket and their place in it,” said Paul McCarthy, AASA executive vice president. “Adam has invited suppliers to engage in conversation about e-tailing’s place in the evolving channel model.”

Goetsch manages’s automotive store, including buying, merchandising, pricing, supply chain, product management and software development responsibilities. He’s spent 12 years with the tech giant, serving in product management (both physical and digital), buying, supply chain and merchandising roles.

‘How to win’ in new aftermarket

With the emergence of the “new retail” world hits the aftermarket, blurring the lines between physical and digital commerce, the association will host a discussion on the new business models being pursued by both current aftermarket players and new digital giants.

The presentation, “The ‘New Retail’ Future of the Aftermarket (and How to Win),” will look at a “groundbreaking analysis” from global consultancy firm Roland Berger and the AASA and how new distribution and service models are being disrupted. The impacts and strategies needed to adapt will be front and centre. Barry Neal, partner and U.S. aftermarket leader, will host the session.

Bill Long, MEMA president and CEO and AASA president and COO, speaking at last year’s Vision Conference.

Attendees will get a preview of the report while AASA members will get an exclusive copy.

“Our examination of the impacts of digital giants, OEMs, insurers and other stakeholders on the traditional independent aftermarket, will spark vital dialogue among Vision attendees, who are the top suppliers and channel partners in the aftermarket today,” Long said.

McCarthy hopes the analysis gives suppliers the insights needed to evaluate how ready they are and how they can support channel partners.

“The conversation will begin at Vision and continue throughout this year to focus on the strategies that suppliers need in order to successfully manage the omni-channel marketplace through 2025 and beyond,” he said.

Winning strategies and overcoming “inevitable market disruption” will be necessary for the supply chain, Neal said.

“Technology is paving the way for new B2C models for service and part requirements identification, selection, and repair,” he said. “As these new models and technologies continue to accelerate and gain penetration in the market, it creates new opportunities for both suppliers and distributors to reach, plan for, and respond to consumer demand.”

AutoZone leader to present

Also taking the stage will be AutoZone’s Mark Finestone. The executive vice president of merchandising will be the featured speaker of the “customer spotlight” portion of the day.

“We’re looking forward to his viewpoint about the current state of the aftermarket and his comments about AutoZone’s strategies in the face of our industry’s challenges and opportunities,” Long said, adding that the spotlight is one of the most popular segments of Vision.

Both Finestone’s and Goetsch’s presentations are open to AASA members only under the “New Roads: Building New Channels for Collaboration” theme.

The event opens on the night before on April 2 with an industry networking reception at The Henry Ford Museum. The conference will also be looking at topics such as:

  • Freedom of Choice and Access to Data
  • The Great Tariff Debate
  • How the Aftermarket Will Unfold in 2019-2020
  • The “New Retail” Future of the Aftermarket (And How to Win)
  • Repairing High-Tech Vehicles
  • The Future Road to Success

More information about the AASA Vision Conference agenda, registration and hotel reservations are available at

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