Who will design, manufacture, market, sell, and install the parts needed to repair tomorrow’s vehicles? This topic – attracting the next generation of automotive parts and service professionals – will be the focus of a presentation by members of the 2008-09 University of the Aftermarket Leadership 2.0 experience during Thursday’s session of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in Chicago.
Five recent Leadership 2.0 graduates will share the findings of their team project, “Our Next Generation – How the Aftermarket Comes Out on Top,” which highlights the need for an industry “succession plan” in light of the impending retirement of tens of thousands of aftermarket professionals over the next decade.
Members of the team, whose project was chosen as the best of five presented during the week long Leadership 2.0 session in April, include representatives of virtually every level of the industry – Aaron Lowe of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, David Lambert of Tenneco Inc., Lloyd Wells of Ridge and Kramer Auto Parts/Federated Auto Parts, Mirela Beecham of Federal-Mogul, and Vic Tarasik of Vic’s Precision Automotive.
Among the team’s recommendations are programs designed to make the aftermarket more appealing to young people, including recent high school and college graduates, and to actively recruit and train professionals from the troubled automotive original equipment industry.
“During our research, I was surprised by the extent of the exodus of people from our industry and particularly how immediate it will be,” said Beecham, wheel end product manager for Federal-Mogul. “Half of current automotive technicians are expected to retire in the next 10 years. We need to act now.”
The team project is the “capstone” of the Leadership 2.0 experience, enabling aftermarket professionals to work alongside customers, suppliers and even competitors in identifying and addressing difficult industry issues. “The team project consistently scores among the most popular elements of the Leadership 2.0 curriculum,” said Brian Cruickshank, AAP, director of the University of the Aftermarket. “Those attending GAAS will see a team that really attacked their subject and developed thoughtful, well researched, practical responses to one of our industry’s most pressing challenges.”
For more information and to reserve a spot in the 2009-10 Leadership 2.0 class, please visit www.northwood.edu/aftermarket or call 1-800-551-2882.