LAS VEGAS The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and the Overseas Automotive Council (OAC) yesterday announced an integration and leadership agreement between the two groups. The unification was announced at a news conference at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX).
“This landmark agreement between the leadership of AASA and OAC will benefit the global automotive aftermarket for years to come,” said Steve Handschuh, AASA president and COO. “Through the cooperative leadership of our groups, AASA’s North American supplier members will forge new relationships with automotive aftermarket exporters throughout the world and build new markets for their products in the global marketplace.”
“OAC is excited about the opportunities that this unique integration between AASA and the Council opens,” said Anthony Cardez, OAC executive director. “The global demand for quality aftermarket products from North American suppliers has never been greater and this agreement will provide the networking needed to open new world markets for these products.”
Under the agreement, OAC will become a peer council of AASA. It will operate under the leadership of a joint board of directors that will include members of the OAC Board of Directors and AASA Board of Governors. Its daily operations will continue to be directed by Cardez, who will report to Handschuh.
Prior to this agreement, OAC had functioned as the international division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) since 1994, along with MEMA’s three market segment associations: AASA, the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA).
According to MEMA President and CEO Bob McKenna, this agreement between OAC and AASA is in the best interests of all the groups. “This closer alignment between AASA and OAC is the next logical step in the growth of both groups and will result in expanded services and programs for all members,” McKenna said. “It will add even more to the member value proposition and greater return on investments for both groups’ members.”