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International Community Gathers For AASA Global Summit

More than 100 aftermarket professionals from the U.S. and around the world gathered on Feb. 7 in Coral Gables, Florida, to explore and discuss the latest shifts in the international aftermarket at the AASA Global Summit, presented by the Overseas Automotive Council (OAC).

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AASA President and COO Paul McCarthy

The exchange of ideas began at the Summit’s Welcome Reception on Feb. 6. The program opened the following day with the “2020 Aftermarket Outlook” presented by Paul McCarthy, AASA president and chief operating officer. McCarthy highlighted the immense industry shifts that continue to affect the international aftermarket, including tariffs, USMCA, ADAS, electrification, distribution model shifts, vehicle data access, and more. The outlook’s key takeaway is that “industry uncertainty is the new certainty.”

Donna Wagner, MAAP, shared her insights on what exporters should expect as the world experiences a dramatic shift from an open trade environment to a closed border mindset. The session prompted attendees to rethink global trade and analyze the book “The World is Flat,” by Thomas Friedman.

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In his session, “The Political & Social State of Latin America,” Eric Farnsworth, vice president, Council of the Americas and Americas Society, provided deep insights on how the latest political and economic shifts in Latin America are leading to significant transformations in regional trade, development, and migration.

Robert Zhu, CEO of WONH Global Industries, manufacturer and distributor of TrakMotive-branded products, discussed the rapidly changing distribution model in China. Zhu highlighted the immense opportunity for aftermarket expansion within the region’s vast network, which includes more than 340,000 distributors and 460,000 repair shops.

During the session, “Suppler Perspective: Global Supply Chain,” Eric Duvall, vice president supply chain management, DRiV, discussed how industry consolidation impacts all channels of the supply chain, particularly in international markets. Duvall introduced the world to DRiV’s new AutoStore supply chain selection system.

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David Wilbanks, senior vice president of merchandising for O’Reilly Auto Parts, discussed the company’s recent purchase of Mayasa last year and its new addition to the team, Chip Carlson, vice president of international business development. Carlson recently joined the OAC and plans to take an active role on the council.

Presentations from the 2020 AASA Global Summit will be available to AASA Members in early March. The next AASA Global Summit, presented by the OAC, is set for Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables, Florida. Program details will be announced later this year.

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