Officially launched at AAPEX last fall, UniLink is the latest addition to the Auto Care Association’s suite of technology products, in a collaboration with trusted vehicle data partner, IHS Markit. UniLink, which is a data set provided on the Auto Care Association’s Vehicle Information Portal (VIP), is a global vehicle identifier that enables the automotive aftermarket to sell more parts in more markets.
The world vehicle parc – estimated at 1.4 billion vehicles – changes every year at an estimated rate of 12 to 14%. This represents a turnover of 40 million to 50 million vehicles each year, creating the need for new applications to be developed by the aftermarket industry to keep up with new vehicle technology and trends. In this rapidly changing global landscape, UniLink is the must-have tool for today’s industry that allows businesses to quickly research these changes and identify new uses for new applications or for new product development—allowing them to remain competitive by adapting and evolving their product portfolios.
The UniLink database contains manufacturing information extending back to 1998 that is organized into 16 high-level original equipment manufacturing attributes. This vehicle platform approach to the UniLink database allows users to cross-reference vehicle makes, models and propulsion types (including electric) across different countries. The database serves as a high-level bridge to ACES, so users can see which parts fit with their product portfolio.
With UniLink, users are able to:
• Identify new countries, makes and models to sell existing parts already in their portfolio—eliminating redundancies in the supply chain;
• Reach new markets across the globe for underperforming inventory parts that are sitting and collecting dust at the warehouse; and
• Connect product data under a unified platform approach to reduce redundant, time-consuming research and avoid costly errors.
During its first year of operation, UniLink is currently available at a reduced price for early adopters.