Supplier executives from across the automotive aftermarket gathered in Chicago last week to learn all about the latest challenges hitting the industry these days.
On April 11, the day before the official start of the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Vision Conference, the Business Technology Council (BTC) held its Spring Meeting while attendees also got to visit and experience I-CAR’s research and training capabilities for advanced driving assistance systems calibration and servicing EVs. They were also able to take part in its mixed reality. That evening, attendees got to mix and mingle during the networking reception that also featured a casino night.
The conference then kicked off on April 12 with an opening act of Blue Brothers impersonators — fitting as Chicago played host to the conference.
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Then it was down to business as Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, welcomed attendees to the premier event the group hosts.
The Three Dragons segment has been regularly viewed as the most popular segment at the event where a government, Wall Street and aftermarket observer give their differing views on aftermarket hot topics. Liz Clark, automotive team lead from the Office of Transportation and Machinery at the International Trade Administration (ITA), Bret Jordan, managing director of Jefferies, and Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions at S&P Global took part on the panel.
Aftermarket professionals got to hear from Kevin Schimmelmann, managing director and partner, and Harrison Xue, partner, from the Boston Consulting Group. They looked at the impact of software-defined vehicles on the aftermarket and who will gain the most — and who stands to lose.
There were a series of other interesting panels. One focused on supplier pain points, which included Gino Amador, president of Snap-on Equipment, John Lerner, chief commercial officer at Gojo and Cal Ganda, head of Americas automotive aftermarket at ContiTech Power Transmission Group.
Another looked at challenges being faced at the shop level and how suppliers can adapt. On the panel were Sheri Hamilton, executive director of the Midwest Auto Care Alliance, Dave Hinz, owner of Mastertek Auto Repair, Barry Neal, senior partner at consulting firm Roland Berger and Dave Smith, senior advisor at collision repairer Caliber.
The day wrapped up with one more panel, the Future of Aftermarket Distribution, which included Randy Buller, president and CEO of Parts Authority, Todd Leimenstoll, president and CEO of Auto-Wares and John Washbish, president and chief executive officer of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
Check out the Instagram highlight reel and photo gallery below.
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