The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Summer Meeting continued in San Diego at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort with the first-ever joint appearance of the chief executives of the aftermarket’s two leading industry associations. Bill Hanvey, the president and CEO to the Auto Car Association teamed with Bill Long, the president and COO to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association for a presentation titled, “The Spirit of Collaboration.”
“The Alliance has always made supply chain collaboration a critical priority,” said John R. Washbish, president and CEO of the Alliance. “We firmly believe that by working together up and down the supply chain, we find efficiencies and profits for all. We are thrilled to have had these two great industry leaders share their perspective on the importance of collaboration with our group.”
In the course of their presentation, the two executives touched on myriad issues of concern to the aftermarket, including access to repair information and data, telematics, the connected car and the consumer’s right to choose where they get their car repaired.
“When our government enacts either legislation or regulations, an opportunity is created for powerful lobbying forces with an agenda of protecting carmakers from sharing data and access to repair information from the aftermarket,” said Mr. Hanvey. “We must be diligent or we lose opportunity.”
Mr. Long picked up on how the associations plan to protect the aftermarket’s interests. “The reality is that the OEM’s have less than 30% of the bays required to maintain vehicles in operation. We believe that if we demonstrate that the aftermarket has the technical competency to repair vehicles and to protect their data, they will work with us. We are making tremendous strides on that front.”
Both executives stress that a “strategy of collaboration” and working with carmakers to build a positive relationship will maintain our access to critical data.
“It goes beyond just access to the data,” said Mr. Long. “Most of us have seen news items about how hackers can break into an on-board computer and wreak havoc. The OEM’s are quite appropriately concerned about anyone that has access to a vehicle’s operating system.”
Building on that idea, Mr. Hanvey added, “It is incumbent on us in the aftermarket to demonstrate to the car makers and governmental regulators that we are doing everything in our power to keep vehicle systems safe.”
In addition to the presentation by the association executives, attendees at the meeting were treated to informative session regarding information technology, marketing, distribution and new product/vendor programs and updates.