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R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Digs Into Raw Materials

Rising prices on raw materials such as steel, petroleum and resins have put a squeeze on many auto parts manufacturers. While we’ve been hearing a lot about it lately, it is still an extremely convoluted matter that goes beyond a simple higher price tag. So, we asked Ann Wilson, MEMA’s vice president of government affairs, to give us a simple breakdown of what’s going on. We also talked to top executives from two leading manufacturers to find out what steps they’ve taken to deal with it. Read on to learn more.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Ponders Predictions for the Next Decade in the Automotive Aftermarket

On Wednesday several hundred aftermarket executives will converge upon Chicago for the 10th annual Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium. Inspired by the theme for this year’s event — “Lessons from the Past, Perspectives on the Future” — we’ve asked some of the industry’s leading executives to give us their predictions for the future of the aftermarket.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Offers Advice to New Graduates

As graduation season nears, what words of encouragement or advice would you give a young person entering the aftermarket? Would you encourage a young person to pursue a career in this industry? Read on to find out what aftermarket executives from a range of professions had to say.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Checks Out National Car Care Month Events

It’s April and Spring has sprung. While springtime marks the start of many seasonal rituals, the Car Care Council wants to make sure that consumers add vehicle maintenance to their springtime to do lists. From event planning kits, to brochures, signage and promotional efforts, the Car Care Council has made it incredibly easy for aftermarket manufacturers, distributors and installers to get involved. It’s a win-win situation — the aftermarket gains a better image, better reputation and hopefully more business; the consumer walks away with a safer, better maintained car, increased vehicle knowledge and awareness and (hopefully), an improved perception of our industry. To find out how the industry is taking advantage of this opportunity, we asked a repair shop and a manufacturer: What are you doing for National Car Care Month?

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Talks to Shop Owners About Counterfeiting

For several years now, the automotive aftermarket, as an industry, has made great strides to increase awareness of the issues of counterfeiting and intellectual property rights violations. With these efforts, we’ve come to learn of the startling problems taking place. While efforts are being made to stop trademark violations at the manufacturer level and to keep imported knockoff auto parts from entering the country, if a counterfeit part were to make it into the distribution chain, would shops know what to look for? For this week’s Ask the Industry, we talked to two shop owners to learn more about their knowledge and experiences with counterfeit auto parts.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ask the Industry Looks at Supply and Demand Issues of R-134a

Reports have been coming into our office about the rise in price of R-134a, mobile air conditioning system refrigerant. Sources have told us there are several factors behind it, namely the increase of offshore R-134a demand, both from Europe and Asia, uncertainty over the future use of the refrigerant (especially in Europe) and increased demand for R-134a for non-vehicle applications such as industrial. We asked top experts from the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide to help us sort out this issue. Read on to find out what’s really going on with R-134a.