To promote cooperation on
legislative and technical issues of importance to the economic health of
the global independent auto care industry, the Automotive Aftermarket
Industry Association (AAIA) recently hosted leaders of several European
and South African aftermarket organizations for week-long talks. Among
the issues addressed were Right to Repair, challenges posed by car
company telematics systems and the common goals for the U.S./EU free
trade agreement currently being negotiated.
Participants in last week’s meetings held in Bethesda, Md., and Washington, D.C., included:
* FIGIEFA The Brussels-based international federation and political
representative of independent wholesalers and retailers of automotive
replacement parts and their associated repair chains.
* EGEA The Brussels-based European Garage and Equipment Association,
representing the interests of both manufacturers and importers of garage
and test equipment.
* MIWA Located in six regions of South Africa, the Motor Industry
Workshop Association is part of the umbrella Retail Motor Industry
Association, which represents repair garages conducting general repairs,
auto electricians, driveline and transmission specialists and vehicle
The Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI), the Automotive Aftermarket
Suppliers Association (AASA) and AIA Canada also participated in a
meeting with FIGIEFA and EGEA, seeking to address technical issues
related to access by the independent repair industry to original
equipment telematics systems.
AAIA also hosted a meeting between European representatives and the
National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) to gain better
understanding of its efforts to resolve service information issues and,
in particular, the development and implementation of the Secure Data
Release Model that permits locksmiths and repair shops to reinitialize
vehicle security systems following repairs.
“Just as the automotive industry has become global, the vehicle
aftermarket also has become a global industry and therefore it is
critical that AAIA work together with our counterparts around the world
to ensure our industry’s future,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president
and CEO. “We were extremely pleased to host these meetings and are
committed to working with other organizations dedicated to a strong
consumer-driven vehicle repair industry.”