By Ed Salamy, Executive Director
Hanging my 2016 calendar on my office wall led me to think about what is to come in the year ahead. The aftermarket parts industry is certainly in the middle of some very interesting times. Parts manufacturers, distributors and the collision repair shops we serve are facing many challenges. But that also means there are many opportunities for those who are prepared to take advantage of them.
OEM vs. Aftermarket
The struggle with OEMs shows no sign of abating. The auto manufacturers are determined to “protect their turf” from any competition, and will use any means to accomplish this. The ABPA will continue to battle in the courts in what could turn out to be a landmark case against Ford. While we would all like to see things move more quickly, the U.S. justice system is very deliberate. For more details you can read an overview of the case on our website. Be sure to check back for updates on a regular basis.
In the meantime, GM has finally rolled out their dynamic pricing program, which poses a significant threat to practically all aftermarket parts made for GM vehicles. It remains to be seen if the program is widely accepted by independent collision shop owners. But make no mistake, if they can get OEM parts at lower prices than aftermarket parts, even if the prices are artificially suppressed, shops will take the GM bait.
Certification Leads the Way
The good news is that the number of aftermarket parts being certified continues to mount. Certification organizations CAPA and NSF reported a steady stream of new certification requests in 2015, and there is no reason to doubt that these numbers will rise even more this year. Certification helps put aftermarket parts on a par with OEM parts in the mind of the consumer, so this effort must continue.
Are You Miami Bound?
Now is the time to start your planning to attend the 2016 ABPA Annual Meeting & Trade Show, April 26-29, in Miami, Florida. It is a great opportunity to meet fellow leaders in the industry, hear the latest news from Washington and beyond, and learn how others are addressing the pressures of competing in today’s market.
You can get more details about the Annual Meeting on our website, and we will soon be launching an online registration page for the event.
One thing is certain in an uncertain world: the ABPA will be loud and strong in continuing to represent the best interests of the aftermarket parts industry. Thanks to an experienced and strong Board of Directors and a growing membership who are engaged and active, our voices will be heard.
Please continue to check the ABPA website and the Body Language digital magazine for updates throughout 2016. Happy New Year!