The new AIA Innovative Business Series held at the Paramount Event Venue at 222 Rowntree Dairy Road in Vaughan, focused on how the aftermarket needs to gear up for change and stay ahead of disruptive technologies.
Dr. Peter Frise, engineer and Director of AUTO21 at the University of Windsor, explained to attendees how technological changes happening at the OE level will impact the aftermarket. Frise said understanding the complexities and requirements of these new vehicles now will ensure shops are prepared when they begin coming in for repairs.
Sarah Ballenthin, from Agilec (which provides employment services across Ontario), provided an update on Government incentives available regarding staff development and skills training.
Jaime Cuthbert, president of automotive specialty software provider AutoServe1, outlined facts and statistics on Driving Millennial Loyalty. Cuthbert explained how millennials will become the dominant customer base within the automotive industry over the next decade and how their earning power potentially will actually eclipse the baby boomer generation.
David Chalk, the final speaker of the day, explained how vulnerable modern vehicles are to software bugs and hacking risks and referred to the recent Tesla crash incident.
“Just as our bodies are hardwired to return back to normal after we get sick, so should computer systems,” explained Chalk. “No computer is secure. Until we resolve software problems and have proper overrides, we will be living in a world where anything can be manipulated.”