Bill Haas currently serves as the vice president of education and training for the Automotive Service Association (ASA). As such, he is dedicated to growing and enriching the educational offerings for ASA members and the industry as a whole. Haas came to ASA in March 2000, with firsthand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges small business owners and automotive service and repair technicians face everyday. His experience as a technician, shop manager, shop owner, parts counterman and automotive instructor provide a solid platform on which he serves the education and training needs of today’s service and repair professional. Haas earned his Accredited Automotive Manager’s designation from the Automotive Management Institute in 1996.
In advance of his upcoming presentation at the 2009 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in May, Haas talks to
In advance of his upcoming presentation at the 2009 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in May, Haas talks toaftermarketNews about the importance of preparation today as new vehicle technologies are brought forward at a rapid pace.
Your presentation for this year’s Global Symposium will focus on vehicle technology. We’ve been hearing a lot about telematics lately. Outside of telematics, what new automotive technology advancements are you most excited about?
It is all exciting in my view. This is a great time to be in the automotive service and repair industry and watch the migration of electronics into every system on the vehicle. Of course the development and introduction of alternative propulsion methods is exciting too, yet I wonder how practical some are.
What will your presentation focus on when it comes to these new technologies?
The presentation focuses on some technologies already introduced and available, some that are in development and a few we may never see. It includes information on acceleration, braking, electric and hydrogen powered vehicles, selective catalytic reduction and vehicle to vehicle communications to mention a few.
How can the independent service and repair sector best prepare for all the new technologies coming down the pike?
I believe that preparation begins with shops identifying which vehicles, systems or services they will focus on along with determining who the target customer is. Businesses in our industry can no longer take the shotgun approach of expecting to be everything to everybody. The cost of wasted time and resources will not allow it. It is time to define the role of the shop owner as more than the “best tech” in the shop. It will be necessary for them to transition into a role of the business person that will effectively manage all elements of the business to ensure the long term success of the business and the customers they serve.
What keeps you up at night, when thinking about new technological advancements?
That as an industry we have failed to deliver a consistent and positive message to consumers that the automotive aftermarket is the best choice for vehicle owner’s service and repair needs.