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July 2022

The opportunities for the automotive aftermarket

Francesca del Bello

We talked about it with Marcus Zahren, Associate Director, Automotive Aftermarket Solutions
The 2022 edition of Autopromotec hosted the third edition of "Associations in motion", the periodic global conference between the various world sector associations. This format has been conceived by AICA (Italy) and Auto Care (USA) associations in November of 2019, in Las Vegas, following a global industry conference. The meeting held in Bologna allowed associations to identify common issues to focus on, in order to find an uniform way to support and relaunch the independent aftermarket globally. We interviewed the speakers who participated in the initiative in order to share with Autopromotec Blog readers their expert point of view.
How was your Autopromotec experience?
"The show exceeded my expectations in terms of both number of exhibitors and visitor traffic. I really enjoyed the optimistic spirit and, of course, meeting again many clients, colleagues, and friends in person".
How did you find the industry doing at Autopromotec after 3 years of covid-related restrictions?
"Interesting to see how many companies have adapted, innovated, and presented themselves in new ways whilst some simply reappeared, seemingly unchanged compared with pre Covid times".
Amongst the many topics discussed at the IAM, what are in your view the main activities trade associations should focus on?
"My key take ways from the discussions with the association leaders are that the IAM’s associations should focus on: increase awareness of IAM and its benefits for consumer’s choices; continue fighting for access to data as key asset of the future; win new talents and train existing people to cope with technological and demographic change".
What is the impact on the market of the current geo-political situation?
"With inflation at a fever pitch, central banks around the world are raising interest rates with new urgency, hoping to cool inflation by slowing growth of aggregate demand and achieving a closer balance with supply. Meanwhile, Russia’s war with Ukraine and recent lockdowns in mainland China have further disrupted supply chains, adding to cost pressures. With high inflation shattering consumer and investor confidence, forecast probabilities are leaning closer to recession. In Europe and North America, prospects for a “soft landing” are dimming. This situation is not likely to stimulate overall automotive repair demand. Although some vehicles will be used longer due to the lack of new vehicle supply, these gains are likely offset by a reduction in miles travelled and reduced repair expenses, as consumers need to spend dramatically higher shares of their incomes on energy and food. The IAM might have an advantage against OEM if they can continue offering better value-for-money service, but as everybody else, IAM players are facing increased purchasing prices and energy costs".

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