David Caracci, newly elected chairman of the board of directors for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), has called on the industry to provide a robust future. Carracci made the comments as he has laid out his “positive vision for the aftermarket as we work together to meet the challenges and potential of today and tomorrow.” Caracci, vice-president of sales, national accounts for Robert Bosch Corporation’s Aftermarket Division, believes strongly in the benefits of community participation. “The automotive aftermarket is my community– and it should be yours as well,” Caracci urged fellow aftermarket leaders and young executives. Caracci has supported this belief, serving as president of the National Engine Parts Manufacturers Association, chairman of the Engine Repower Council, president of the Automotive Sales Council, and member of the board of directors of the Car Care Council before becoming chairman of AAIA. "Participation in industry activities helps pay back the industry and at the same time grow professionally. These activities let you learn from others, often the best in the industry. Get involved. Help strengthen the association. It’s good for the industry and your career, and you’ll make some lifelong friends,” he said. "We’re experiencing declining replacement cycles as the original parts on vehicles last longer. We’re seeing technicians and do it yourselfers work on technologically challenging computerized systems. Plus, we’re dealing with legislative issues that affect international trade relations as well as the aftermarket — no one person or specialized group can deal effectively with all the issues. We can’t strengthen and improve the industry nearly as well alone as we can working with others. We need a community, with lots of engaged participants, each contributing their views and their expertise, occasionally disagreeing, but all working together," Caracci said. Caracci began his aftermarket career as a certified diesel mechanic. He attended college while also working as a racing mechanic and racecar driver. Later, he opened a racing shop in South Florida, where he met with success designing, building and racing cars, eventually becoming Florida Region class champion — while also serving as crew chief for another car which won the national championship.