AASA's Bill Long Extols Industry's Broad Range Of Possibilities And Opportunities -
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AASA’s Bill Long Extols Industry’s Broad Range Of Possibilities And Opportunities

“It has been a great year for the aftermarket,” said Bill Long, president and chief operating officer of AASA at the Member & Media Briefing at AAPEX Tuesday morning. “We are a huge industry that continues to show steady growth in the face of drastically changing vehicle technologies, placing our industry at $268 billion by the end of 2016.”

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aasa“It has been a great year for the aftermarket,” said Bill Long, president and chief operating officer of AASA at the Member & Media Briefing at AAPEX Tuesday morning. “We are a huge industry that continues to show steady growth in the face of drastically changing vehicle technologies, placing our industry at $268 billion by the end of 2016.
“As impressive as our growth has been, there are significant opportunities available to us all as represented by the estimated $67 billion unperformed or deferred maintenance,” he continued.
“Although we are in a good place, for me to suggest that it’s business as usual in our industry would be a gross misrepresentation. Never in my career can I recall a time with the range of possibilities and opportunities in the aftermarket. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the changes that are occurring in the industry, or sort out the type of changes to come from reality and put it all in perspective. There are varying points of view of what it all means and even when some of these technologies will begin to reach critical mass.”
Long explained that AASA opened the dialogue about the “Connected Aftermarket” at its Vision Conference earlier this year. “A more connected car could lead to an increase in key business drivers for the aftermarket. It will lead to increased awareness of failure and replacement rates, and prognostics that alert both motorists and service providers of pending failure. More end-consumer awareness would allow for increased maintenance performed on vehicles.”
Long also highlighted AASA’s steps toward securing the aftermarket’s future and presenting a path forward, including clearly defining what the industry wants – motorists retaining freedom of choice for vehicle repair and replacement parts; collaborating with OEMs on viable technical solutions; developing “connected-vehicle” training and certification for shops; and grass-roots awareness.
Long welcomed Brian Daugherty, MEMA chief technology officer, who elaborated on the investment MEMA has made in identifying opportunities for suppliers in advanced technologies.
“Don’t let the hype surrounding autonomous technology distract us from implementing near-term automated safety systems and V2V communications,” said Daugherty, who discussed fuel economy standards, vehicle-to-vehicle communications (or V2V as it is commonly known), automated and autonomous vehicle technology, and cybersecurity.
Due to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements rising, “OEMs will be making massive investments in new and in some cases relatively unproven technologies. In addition to adding complex, new powertrain technologies to vehicles, an increased focus on lightweighting will result in the redesign of many existing OE parts as well as their aftermarket counterparts,” he said.
“V2V technology has tremendous potential to usher in the next wave of safety improvements as well as improve overall transportation efficiency. Automotive cybersecurity is critical and one of the biggest issues facing our industry. The associated issues will have a large impact on the aftermarket.”
Long also welcomed John Chalifoux, president and chief operating officer of the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association.
Chalifoux announced that his association has started a certification program that aims to help buyers purchase remanufactured products with like-new quality and warranty coverage.
“Remanufacturing and new manufacturing are both standardized industrial processes, and both yield high-quality, fully warranted products,” Chalifoux said. “Therefore, it makes sense that the Manufactured Again certification program is built on quality management standards that can be applied to both new and reman.”
Learn more about remanufacturing and the Manufactured Again certification program at ManufacturedAgain.com.
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