In the face of advanced technologies and increasingly complex vehicles, the automotive aftermarket needs new strategies for continued growth, Bill Long, AASA president and chief operating officer, told more than 150 aftermarket industry professionals attending the 64th annual Industry Day hosted by the Michigan Auto Parts Association (MAPA) in Flint, Michigan.
“A new and different aftermarket isn’t coming – it’s here,” said Long. “The road ahead will require collaboration, a shared-vision and a plan for securing our future in the connected aftermarket.”
Long addressed the current state of the aftermarket and highlighted some of the new aftermarket realities impacting it, including changing DIY/DIFM buying habits, autonomous vehicles and access to vehicle data. He concluded his comments with an industry outlook and roadmap for the future.
“At AASA, we see four clear steps forward to securing our futures,” said Long. “First, we must be clear about what we want – access to the vehicle that offers motorists freedom of choice for vehicle repair and service parts, and access and use of parts and equipment-enabling software necessary to allow motorists’ freedom of choice.”
Long’s address, “New Aftermarket Realities: Strategic Shifts and Where Do We Go from Here,” was presented at the MAPA Industry Day on Sept. 14.
The Michigan Automotive Parts Association represents automotive parts stores, warehouse distributors, service repair facilities and associates throughout Michigan. Founded in 1953, MAPA today represents more than 420 automotive aftermarket businesses in Michigan.