Working Together for Success

The automotive aftermarket is incredibly diverse and walking the aisles at our recent Australian Auto Aftermarket and Collision Repair Expo clearly illustrated this

Our industry covers repair, service and modification, retailers and resellers, importers and distributors, manufacturers and exporters, and service and technology providers.

Given this diversity, business needs across our incredible aftermarket industry can be very different, and at the same time there are clear areas of interdependency throughout the sector. A healthy industry needs all areas performing well, so we depend on each other to achieve shared success.
There is a clear common need to have the industry able to conduct business fairly and without restriction, and all businesses want someone on their side to fight for the issues that matter to the success of their business.

It was the need to take action against government regulation that would have been detrimental to the future of the aftermarket industry that resulted in the formation of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA). More than 40 years later, as the peak body for the aftermarket nationally, our role of advocacy remains more important than ever.

We are a force for positive change in the industry, and our success in campaigning for and supporting the industry has only been possible through the support of our members.
Changing law in Australia is no easy feat. It is an incredibly complex process. Thanks to the support of our membership, the AAAA was able to allocate the significant resources needed to champion and win the fight for what was the industry’s most pressing challenge. Meeting that challenge together led to the introduction of a mandatory data sharing law, so that independent workshops can compete in the market on fair and reasonable terms.
I am proud to say that the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme is only weeks away from ‘going live,’ with the new Australian Automotive Service and Repair Authority active in operationalising the law.

On the 1st of July this landmark law will be implemented. All members have played a huge role in making that happen – thank you. But our work does not stop on the 1st of July – the skills shortage is top priority, along with the EV evolution.

The next major challenge of our time is skills shortages. Every day we hear from members about the challenges in recruiting and retaining good staff, particularly in the current market of strong demand for car service and repair. The AAAA has already begun advocacy efforts to address this at government level. We are also actively collecting data and insights from workshops and apprentices to support our advocacy work.

EVs remain another crucial industry development. We need to ensure our workshops are educated, trained and equipped for the future car parc. At the workshop level, we are providing advice on when and how EVs will impact the industry through education activities and research. This included our panel sessions at the AAAExpo in April, member webinars and articles across our communication channels, including our own publication, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine.

In addition to our industry leading advocacy work, AAAA members directly benefit from having exclusive access to a suite of fantastic business tools and services.
If you need quick, relevant and reliable advice on HR and legal matters, the AAAA provides members with a fantastic service via our dedicated, and highly regarded HR and Legal Hotline. This service enables members to access great support and achieve peace of mind, so they can keep running their business and meeting customer needs as effectively as possible.

Our Car Parc Data tool has quickly become a highlight of AAAA membership. This unique interactive platform allows businesses to gain insights from their car parc, including demographics of their local area. By exploring the Car Parc Data, businesses can improve their marketing, purchasing and staff training to better suit their customer base. If a business is looking to change locations or expand, the Car Parc Data tool is invaluable for assessing opportunities. For retailers and distributors, the national data view can improve business decision making with state-by-state level reporting.

A special feature of membership for workshops is our free Workshop Health Check tool. This easy-to-use checklist is linked to our database of industry sector market research reports and quarterly industry insights, so workshop owners and managers can benchmark their workshop and access support and tools to improve performance in a targeted way. And of course, AAAA provides members with exclusive webinars and popular member networking evenings. We are proud to see all these offers being utilised heavily by members.

With the world opening up, it is exciting to see more international aftermarket exhibitions running. We are resuming our work assisting businesses to find new markets, represent their brand, and Australia at these Expos.

For the AAAA it’s not just about the businesses – at the heart of our industry are our people. It was fantastic to catch up with so many people who I hadn’t seen face to face for over two years at our recent Expo and to see the camaraderie and optimism that was on display during that event.
As a result, I am inspired and enthusiastic about what the future will bring, and with our loyal and growing membership base, we will continue to be your industry voice. Thank you for your ongoing support.

This article was originally published in the June Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine

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