BROADVIEW, IL — David Caracci, newly elected chairman of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association’s (AAIA) Board of Directors, has outlined his vision for the future of the aftermarket.
In a statement issued late last week, Caracci said he has a “positive vision for the aftermarket as we work together to meet the challenges and potential of today and tomorrow.” He is calling for industry-wide involvement and participation to assure a “robust, healthy future for our industry.”
Vice President of Sales, National Accounts for Robert Bosch Corp.’s Aftermarket Division, Caracci said he believes strongly in the benefits of community participation. “The automotive aftermarket is my community — and it should be yours as well.”
Prior to becoming chairman of AAIA, Caracci supported his belief in industry involvement, by serving on a number of councils and associations, including as president of the National Engine Parts Manufacturers Association, chairman of the Engine Repower Council, president of the Automotive Sales Council and member of the board of directors of the Car Care Council.
“Participation in industry activities helps pay back the industry and at the same time grow professionally,” Caracci said. “These activities let you learn from others, often the best in the industry. Get involved. Help strengthen the association. It’s good for the industry and your career, and you’ll make some lifelong friends.”
“We’re experiencing declining replacement cycles as the original parts on vehicles last longer. We’re seeing technicians and do it yourselfers work on technologically challenging computerized systems. Plus, we’re dealing with legislative issues that affect international trade relations as well as the aftermarket — no one person or specialized group can deal effectively with all the issues. We can’t strengthen and improve the industry nearly as well alone as we can working with others. We need a community, with lots of engaged participants, each contributing their views and their expertise, occasionally disagreeing, but all working together,” Caracci said.
Caracci began his aftermarket career as a certified diesel mechanic. He attended college while also working as a racing mechanic and race car driver. Later, he opened a racing shop in South Florida, where he met with success designing, building and racing cars, eventually becoming Florida Region class champion — while also serving as crew chief for another car, which won the national championship.
With 35 years of automotive industry experience, Caracci most recently served as general manager of sales and marketing, charging and starting products for Bosch. Prior to his tenure with Bosch, he was general sales manager of Dana’s Aftermarket Division, vice president and general manager of SafeGuard Engine Parts Inc., and president of the aftermarket group for ROL Manufacturing.
Caracci, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Northwood University, notes that “less than six years ago AAIA was seven separate associations, each trying to serve, protect and expand the industry. “Now, we are one strong single team. Look what we’ve become. Now just imagine what we can accomplish,” he said.
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