AASA Updates Vision Conference Agenda to Meet Member Needs in the New Economy - aftermarketNews

AASA Updates Vision Conference Agenda to Meet Member Needs in the New Economy

Event will focus on the theme, 'Weathering the Storm: Trends, Insights and Opportunities.'

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) has updated the agenda for the AASA Vision Conference 2009, its annual membership meeting, to assist members in meeting the challenges of the current economic downturn and the opportunities it creates.  

The AASA Vision Conference 2009 will be held from 11 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at the InterContinental O’Hare, Rosemont, Ill. The theme is “Weathering the Storm: Trends, Insights and Opportunities.”

“We have redesigned our agenda to focus on the keynote presentations and valuable reports which will help our members, the North American automotive aftermarket suppliers, better position their companies to ‘weather the storm’ and take advantage of opportunities during this challenging time in the global marketplace,” said Steve Handschuh, president and COO of AASA. “This newly revamped agenda also allows us to adjust the conference start time. Many members will be able to fly in for the day to attend – saving both travel expenses and time out of the office.”

AASA Vision Conference 2009 presentations will include:

• Aftermarket Outlook: Vision Conference attendees will be the first to hear results from the ground-breaking study recently completed by McKinsey & Co.: “The Future of the U.S. Automotive Aftermarket.”

• Economic Outlook: Dr. Martin Regalia, the chief economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will review the international economic outlook and will examine a wide range of economic drivers affecting the automotive aftermarket industry in the coming years. Mike Hanley of Ernst & Young, the Vision Conference Premier Sponsor, will address, “Thriving in an Economic Downturn.”

• Energy Outlook: Christopher Guith, a senior leader from the Institute for 21st Century Energy, will address the Institute’s energy policies and initiatives in the new environment in Washington, D.C., and the state governments.

• Customer Outlook: Todd Hack of CARQUEST and Greg Henslee of O’Reilly will look at the aftermarket’s future from their unique perspectives at two of the largest and most successful aftermarket channel partners.

The 2009 Vision Conference will open at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, with the annual AASA Membership Meeting reports. In addition to the Chairman’s Report by Peter Morse, Morse Automotive, the membership presentations will include:

• Affecting Change in Washington: Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs for AASA will help attendees understand the unprecedented number of issues now under discussion in Washington that directly impact the aftermarket and tell attendees how they can get involved to make the aftermarket’s voice heard.

• NA Supplier Image: Regaining Balance in the Aftermarket: Jack Cameron, group executive of the AASA Marketing Executives Council (MEC), will discuss a new report from the MEC’s series of focus groups with professional technicians to determine their opinions about aftermarket suppliers’ and manufacturers’ support.

• Exporting in the New Global Economy: Richard Mezadurian, chairman of the AASA Overseas Automotive Council (OAC) and president of Falcon Steering, will give an overview of the global aftermarket and exporting opportunities.

The conference will conclude with a networking reception at 5:15 p.m.

Ernst & Young is the AASA Vision Conference 2009 premier sponsor.

The new AASA Vision Conference 2009 agenda and registration information is available at the Vision Web site, www.aasavision.org.

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