5 Minutes With Mario Garza, Vice President of Marketing, MPA

5 Minutes With Mario Garza, Vice President of Marketing, MPA

aftermarketNews discusses the automotive aftermarket and more with Motorcar Parts of America's Mario Garza.

In this installment of “5 Minutes With…,” get to know Garza, what attracted him to the automotive aftermarket, what new marketing trends he’s seeing, and much more.

aftermarketNews: What advice would you give yourself just starting out in your career?

Mario Garza: Looking back, I’d tell myself to focus on being patient and not stressing about things out of my control. Early in my career, I was always anxious to see immediate results and often got frustrated when things didn’t go as planned. It took a few years and some great mentors to help me realize that growth and success take time. 

AMN: What attracted you to the automotive aftermarket?

Garza: Funny enough, I got into the automotive aftermarket almost by accident. It started as a part-time job but quickly became something much bigger. I went from installing batteries and wiper blades in parking lots for customers to working alongside some of the most talented people in retail, wholesale distribution and supplier organizations. I never imagined I would still be in the automotive industry 25-plus years later, but I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything. 

AMN: Talk a little bit about why sustainability is so important at MPA and an initiative working toward that goal?

Garza: Sustainability is a huge priority for us at MPA. We’re committed to minimizing our environmental impact and being responsible corporate citizens. One initiative I’m particularly proud of is our remanufacturing program. This process significantly reduces waste and conserves resources and energy compared to manufacturing new parts. It’s a win-win because it’s good for the environment and meets the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products that meet or exceed OEM specifications.

AMN: What new marketing trends do you find effective for the automotive aftermarket? 

Garza: The marketing landscape in the automotive aftermarket has changed dramatically with digital technology. Overall, marketing has moved from traditional methods like billboards, radio ads, and print media, to more interactive and personalized digital channels. Social media platforms like Facebook, 

Instagram, and LinkedIn are now essential for engaging with customers and building brand loyalty. 

AMN: What was your first car? Dream car?

Garza: My dream car was a 1965 Ford Mustang. As a kid, I spent hours playing with Matchbox cars, imagining what it would be like to drive a real Mustang. Perhaps one day, I can make that dream a reality; I haven’t given up hope yet. 

AMN: Are you more of a DIY or DIFM person?

Garza: I’d say I’m a mix of both DIY and DIFM. I love the hands-on experience of tackling repairs and maintenance myself, whether it’s my truck or things around the house. There’s something satisfying about solving a problem on your own. But, I also know my limits. 

AMN: Name a favorite trip you’ve made or one place on your “bucket list” you’d like to see.

Garza:  My favorite trip so far has to be St. Lucia. Everything about it—the people, the food, the scenery, and the history—was just excellent. If you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it. I’ve got my sights set on Martinique for my next trip. It’s close to St. Lucia but has its unique blend of English and French influences.  

AMN: Who was your childhood hero? Who is your hero now?   

Garza: As a kid, my heroes were all baseball players—Will Clark, Nolan Ryan and Rafael Palmeiro. They were the stars I looked up to because they excelled at something I loved. But as I got older, my perspective changed. While I still admire those athletes, my real hero is my dad. Growing up, I didn’t fully appreciate what it took for him to raise me and my brother. The sacrifices he made and the time he dedicated to us make sense now that I’m a father. Even today, he’s always there for me, ready with advice or to listen about my day.

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