Auto Service World
News   April 19, 2024   by Adam Malik

Suppliers talk challenges at premiere conference


From left, Kumar Saha moderates a discussion with an aftermarket pro (Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions at S&P Global Mobility), government official (Elizabeth Clark, leader of the automotive team at the U.S. Department of Commerce) and Wall Street analyst (Greg Melich, senior managing director at Evercore ISI) during the 3 Dragons session at the Vision Conference hosted by MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers

One of the top conferences for automotive aftermarket professionals tackled key issues ranging from electric vehicles to supply chains to geopolitical to artificial intelligence and more.

The MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers annual Vision Conference was held at The Henry in Dearborn, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. Attendees included the top minds and professionals from across the industry and beyond.

This year’s event marked 120 years of MEMA under the theme “The New Aftermarket: Embracing Change to Drive Growth.”

A welcome reception was held at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation on April 9 before the jam-packed conference kicked off the next morning.

Things kicked off with a drumline performance with a medley of upbeat music as performers donned glow-up outfits.

The always-popular ‘three dragons’ session featured an aftermarket pro (Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions at S&P Global Mobility) Wall Street analyst (Greg Melich, senior managing director at Evercore ISI) and government official (Elizabeth Clark, leader of the automotive team at the U.S. Department of Commerce) conversation that looked at industry issues from various perspectives. It was hosted by Eucon Americas vice president and Jobber News columnist Kumar Saha.

Barry Neal and Neury Freitas from Roland Berger gave a presentation based on results from the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers 2024 Landmark Study: Profitable Deployment of AI in the Automotive Aftermarket. The pair looked at how AI can help the industry in a variety of ways and offered real use case examples of where it would be beneficial.

John Baldwin, senior vice president of product at Discount Tire — with locations throughout the U.S. — went through what makes for a good customer experience as well as what they’ve learned about working with EVs.

The Advocacy Town Hall was hosted by MEMA’s Ann Wilson. She touched on significant legislative topics impacting the industry, including right to repair and trade issues.

Wilson, who will be retiring at the end of the year, was recognized by CEO Paul McCarthy on behalf of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers for her contributions to the industry.

After lunch saw a comedian magician perform for attendees before McCarthy then offered a Talk from the Top which featured pointed responses from customer leaders about how they feel their supplier partners are doing.

Prashant Iyer and Rob Pick from Bain & Company Discussed strategies for building a resilient aftermarket supply chain as geopolitical tensions rise.

As more suppliers look to Mexico as a nearshoring alternative, Gino Amador, president Snap-on Equipment, John Hanighen, CEO of Cloyes Gear & Products and Eric Sills, CEO of Standard Motor Products looked at the challenges and opportunities that stand in front of the industry.

Four ‘bulls’ then took the stage — Tim Albritten, director of business development from BG Products, Rosa Meckseper, head of automotive aftermarket in North America at Continental, Dave Miller, vice president of global product line management at Gates and Russ Stebbins, senior director of the global aftermarket business unit at Sensata — about trends that will boost aftermarket business, their thoughts on EVs and how they will supply the EV aftermarket.

The event wrapped up with a celebration networking reception to mark MEMA’s anniversary.


MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Vision Conference 2024


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