More than 1,000 online visitors attended the second Virtual Days business networking event of 2021 organized by global aftermarket alliance Nexus Automotive International.
The delegates, comprising N! members, suppliers and partners, took the collective opportunity to join more than 3,500 “speed date” style meetings, 20 webinars and three roundtable discussions, which were streamed live. The two-day summit also saw, for the first time, a virtual hall dedicated exclusively to the thriving heavy-duty sector.
In addition to furthering relationships between parts distributors and manufacturers, the Virtual Days event provided a platform for discussing topics vital to the future success of the aftermarket. These ranged from a greater focus on sustainability to the creation of new mobility services.
Delegates also were reminded of the important steps forward has Nexus had made in the past year in building and fine-tuning services in support of the N! Community, along with a glimpse of key initiatives being developed for the future. Highlights included:
• The Nexus Academy was now a full digitalized training solution, from executive to technician level. Nexus is to maintain momentum in this area to help companies adapt to new digitalized business models, which includes making the procurement process more efficient.
• It had been a very special year for Heavy Duty business, with the increasing number of N! members and suppliers from this sector reporting strong growth in sales. As well as the dedicated HD hall, the Virtual Days event included a bespoke HD webinar, hosted by Janusz Zielinski, N! Global Heavy Duty Director, and the 6th edition of the IN!SIDE Truck magazine.
• On sustainability, it was revealed that Nexus is proposing establishing an annual automotive aftermarket Climate Day, to take place in September 2022, bringing key players together to share their visions, strategies and ideas.
• Having successfully supported several mobility start-up businesses it was announced that the first automotive aftermarket innovation centre is soon to be opened in Lyon, France.
The roundtable session generated lively discussion between the participants and the viewers. Key topics examined were: 1) How does the industry migrate from just auto parts to parts and mobility services? 2) How to accelerate the Talents4AA project to make the aftermarket more attractive to young, talented entrants, and 3) What should the objectives of an ITG (international trading group) be in the short- and mid-terms?
Nexus CEO Gael Escribe said: “We are grateful to the N! members and suppliers, and other partners, who took part directly, and to everyone who participated from all around the world to help make the second Virtual Days event of 2021 the big success that it was.
“As ever we look forward, and to the N! Community we say that if we are all to continue to thrive in what is a fast-changing automotive aftermarket then we, as a global influencer, recognize that we owe you more than ‘business-as-usual.’
“That’s why our eyes will always be on the future, seeking to provide the innovative solutions that will deliver the right services and tools to face future challenges to guarantee continuous growth at any level of the chain, from production to distribution and finally the end-consumer.”