ABPA - Automotive Body Parts Association

Automotive Body Parts Association

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About Us

The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) is a coalition dedicated to serving the collision repair industry with quality replacement parts, backed by dependable service and fair prices.

  • Mission: To enable the Association members to grow their business and navigate the challenges of the alternative automotive replacement parts industry today and in the future.
  • Vision: To provide our members with an interactive forum to promote solutions that enhance their interests and business climate, as well as further promote the benefits of alternative automotive parts to consumers and the automotive industry at large.

There are more than 160 members of the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) occupying more than 400 separate collision parts distribution, bumper sales, recycling facilities and manufacturing plants. Collectively, they are responsible for distributing more than 90 percent of independently produced aftermarket collision replacement parts sold to the collision repair trade.

More than 20 years ago, ABPA instituted a certification program for independently produced aftermarket body parts. The standards were formulated to be functionally equivalent to OEM products. An outside, separate and fully-qualified testing laboratory was specifically formed and financed to carry on the task of parts certification. That effort ultimately resulted in the formation of the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA). CAPA parts provide an effective counterpoint to those OEM products with which distributors must compete in the marketplace.

ABPA members are pledged to supporting the multifaceted collision repair industry by not only delivering quality products where and when needed, but also by making the entire parts delivery system more expedient and economically viable. To that end, ABPA has instituted Partslink, a universal parts numbering system intended primarily for use with collision damage replacement parts.

The sign of ABPA membership is the greatest assurance that collision repair customers receive the best products and services available. We invite you to join and support ABPA. It’s the sign of the replacement collision parts professional!


The Association was initially chartered as a nonprofit organization in California in January, 1980. Seven individuals signed the incorporation papers. In the first two years of its existence, the Aftermarket Body Parts Distributors Association (as it was first known), was administered from the offices of the Association’s legal counsel in Oxnard, CA.

In 1982, the headquarters was moved to a specialized management firm in Washington, DC. By early 1983, after the account executive handling the administrative affairs of the Association made known his intent to leave that agency, Board members began exploring other management options. In April 1983, then-President Don Gorman signed a contract of services with Stanley A. Rodman, the current principal officer of SARCO Management & Publications, which was then Chicago-based. At the time, the Association had 63 dues paying members.

During the next several years, the Association grew in membership, scope, diversity and activity. The name was changed by a vote of the membership during the October 1984 annual convention in Hawaii, with the word “Distributors” being dropped because the organization was representing not only distributors, but all segments of the industry. In the latter part of that same year, the main office was also relocated to Houston, TX.

In 1987, ABPA was reincorporated as a nonprofit organization in Texas. In 1989, at the 10th Annual Convention in Arlington, VA, the membership voted to again change the name of the organization. The word “Aftermarket” was dropped, and in its place, the word “Automotive” was substituted. While the name changed, the initials ABPA remained the same.

In 1997, two organizations which shared a large base of the same type of members and common goals merged. Board members of the ABPA and the Bumper Recyclers Association of North America (BRANA) agreed that, with a changing marketplace, one Association could and should do the job of two. That merger resulted in a growth spurt of nearly 18 new members to the ABPA which, to cover the interests of the bumper recyclers, also launched a special Bumpers Recyclers Division.

In 1999, the ABPA took over ownership and management of the Partslink program from ADP/Claims Solutions Group. Partslink is a universal numbering system by which the same parts applications are called by a common number, orientated to the existing OEM number. ADP developed the system beginning in March of 1993. The system, by agreement, was jointly owned by the ABPA and ADP and was operated under contract by San Diego area based Data Derivatives. With ABPA gaining full ownership, the program underwent dramatic changes and is now online through the Internet. Partslink is currently maintained by telemark software in La Jolla, CA.

Goals and Objectives

The major goals and objectives of the ABPA are as follows:

  • Support of all members with legislative and judicial efforts to protect their businesses.
  • Support of quality replacement parts through certification.
  • Communication with state legislators and regulators.
  • Representation of ABPA members on impact governmental and regulatory issues.
  • Keeping the industry’s replacement parts manufacturers informed on ABPA members’ needs and desires.
  • Legislative and regulatory lobbying on aftermarket body parts issues through appearances at public hearings.
  • Maintaining liaison with other organizations and industries which welcome the competition ABPA represents.
  • Standardizing a permanent identification system for all products via Partslink.
  • Issuing alerts on key industry happenings.
  • Disseminating management and marketing information to help members make better informed business decisions.
  • Working with the Canadian members on an entirely separate agenda of action to help protect their business interests.

ABPA Partners

The ABPA is proud to be a partner and support the advocacy efforts of:

My Parts Choice
CAR Coalition

Body Language

Body Language is the official newsletter of the ABPA. Click here for more information, and to sign up for the mailing list!