There’s going to be a jobber profitability workshop, information on succession planning, and a presentation by IBM on the truth about IT, but perhaps the most important session of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s annual convention will target the impact of On-Board Diagnostics on the aftermarket.
Access to On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) II information has plagued the aftermarket since its inception. In a fight lodged almost exclusively south of the border, various aftermarket associations and citizens’ groups have been arguing that the aftermarket needs access to the information if they are to continue to provide the motoring public with comprehensive, environmentally responsible service. The car manufacturers have, naturally, taken the view that they own the information and the means to access it. Last Fall, the aftermarket notched a major victory with the passage of California bill 1146 which mandated access to OBD II information.
AIA president Ray Datt believes that the issue will continue to be a hot one for the aftermarket for some time, and for this reason is particularly excited about the slate of presenters on tap for the “Straight Talk On Aftermarket Access To OBD II Information” session at the Penticton, B.C. convention.
‘We’ve got a an excellent session. It’s probably one of the best lineups you’ll see anywhere. We’ve been working hard trying to look at the issues surrounding OBD II, and we’re very fortunate to have some of the best people in North America on board for the convention.
“We are going to start off the morning with Aaron Lowe, a vice-president of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).” The AAIA and the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association comprise the Automotive Parts and Service Alliance (APSA). The Alliance worked closely with the California Consumer Choice Coalition, a group of state and national aftermarket, consumer and vehicle safety groups to spearhead a concerted grassroots effort to obtain passage of the bill.
“They worked together to deal with the California bill so that the OEs couldn’t lock the hood. Lowe is the resource person from the AAIA and was directing this whole effort. He’ll talk about the bill and what it means to the aftermarket in California.
“Then we have Holly Pugliese for the U.S. EPA. Her job there is dealing with the automotive aftermarket. She’s going to talk to us about legislative changes that the EPA is making in 2002 that deal with access to information, and a lot of other areas that will give some guidance to the OEs on what they will have to share with the rest of the world.
“Then we have James Lane Jr., vice-president and GM of the OEM group of Snap-On Tools. He’s going to talk about OBD II and what it means to the aftermarket and the type of equipment that’s available and what’s being developed. He’s also going to talk about the types of technologies that are being developed and their affect on the aftermarket.
“After he’s done we’ll have one more. David Gourley, from Pacific Vehicle Testing Technologies Ltd. (which is responsible for B.C.’s AirCare program) is going to talk about how OBD II may change the way they’re going to test vehicles.” Datt says that, prior to his presentation, Gourley is going to conduct some field research on how well trouble codes have indicated a problem with a vehicle, and whether they provide the kind of information necessary to eventually eliminate the need for dynomometer testing.
Following the individual presentations, the group will assemble for a panel discussion with the addition of an installer, who will provide some grassroots perspectives. They’ll discuss the issues and take questions about OBD II access for Canadians.
“Do you think the OEs will make it available to Canadians? I can’t see how they will not. How can they stop Canadian companies? But it will be interesting to ask the questions, and hear the answers. OBD II touches on everybody in the aftermarket.
“My strong concern is that we need to address this thing before it becomes a crisis. My personal opinion is that what happens in the U.S. will happen in Canada. Transport Canada and Environment Canada are both taking the position that the standards in the U.S. will be the standards that they will impose on the manufacturers in Canada. What the EPA is doing in the States is going to be a reflection of what we’re going to see in Canada.”
Straight Talk On Aftermarket Access To OBD II Information
The AIA Jobber/WD Council and the Suppliers Council have teamed up to present a highly informative and interactive business session to uncover the facts on OBD II information sharing between the OEs and the Aftermarket. Industry experts and government officials will examine what is happening in the U.S. and Canada to ensure that automobile manufacturers disseminate to the aftermarket industry any and all information needed to service or repair a vehicle’s emission control system. This timely session is sure to provide valuable insight into this hotly debated issue.
Technology And The Aftermarket: Fact Or Fiction?
Stay ahead of technology in our fast-changing automotive industry. Technology sessions will begin with an IT breakfast panel, focusing on the strategic overview of where our industry stands with regard to adoption of new technology and where the industry plans to be in the next five years. Next up will be demonstrations on the various types of software and services currently available to our industry. Learn about new initiatives to ensure common standards and what that will mean to the industry. An industry panel will present its own experiences with respect to technology on issues such as web sites and e-commerce. These IT sessions have been specially chosen to focus on the key issues and challenges which face the industry as we enter the next millennium.
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