Auto Service World
News   March 22, 2024   by Adam Malik

Jobber News Executive Outlook 2024: Sean Stokes

Jobber News reached out to leaders in the supply and distribution segment of the automotive aftermarket and asked them what they see happening in the industry over the next 12 months, what will improve, what one challenge to the industry will be and what opportunities are out there for jobbers and suppliers alike. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…

You can view the full feature in our January 2024 issue.

Sean Stokes, VP of Auto Parts, GM  |  PartSource

The aftermarket will continue to grow (units and dollars) as consumers will continue to face macroeconomic pressures like inflation and high interest rates. The average consumer will continue to repair older vehicles versus purchase new (although I believe new vehicle sales for 2024 will be higher than they were in 2023 due to pent-up demand). Parts supply will be in a positive position versus the previous three years, so success will be driven by seamless customer service and a strong value proposition on quality parts for the DIY and DIFM channels. Right to repair will continue to be an important topic. We must support AIA Canada in its efforts to communicate this with key stakeholders.

Finding and retaining quality staff and technicians, while balancing a positive cash flow, will be the biggest challenge. Companies need to create and offer relevant training programs for staff and ensure recognition programs are in place. They must ensure an environment that respects diversity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace. The industry must work through AIA Canada to ensure the automotive aftermarket is seen as a positive career possibility by students.

The top opportunity is a three-pronged approach. First, invest in the right partner with the right inventory programs to support your business long-term growth. Secondly, stay on top of customer needs. Be proactive in communicating the jobs they need to have completed (strong warranties will become even more important in 2024). Lastly, ensure your teams embrace a growth mindset where team members look for new ways to do things and embrace setbacks as learning opportunities.

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