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AASA VisCon 2011: Compelling Insights for the Next Decade

By Amy Antenora

The fourth annual Vision Conference, hosted by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) exclusively for its members, boasted record attendance of close to 200 people at the April 29-30 gathering. The “AASA VisCon” event, held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago, promised to offer “compelling insights for the next decade,” through a number of presentations and panel discussions on the key issues impacting the supplier industry today.

Following board meetings and a welcome reception held the prior evening, AASA President and COO Steve Handschuh opened the days’ proceedings along with AASA Chairman David Coolidge, executive vice president, Americas, Global Automotive Aftermarket Division, Bosch, who gave introductory remarks. The first half of the day focused on the results of AASA’s new Aftermarket 2020 study, which AASA commissioned Booz & Co. to conduct on behalf of the association and its members. The Aftermarket 2020 report was provided exclusively to members.

As part of the VisCon agenda, Evan Hirsh, vice president of Booz & Co. offered the aftermarket supplier executives in attendance a briefing on the key findings of the report, followed by panel discussions on the finer details of the study.
In addition to several networking breaks held throughout the day, a networking lunch was hosted during which Mike Hanley of Ernst & Young (E&Y) gave a brief presentation on what trends E&Y is seeing in the aftermarket today and how the firm is helping to guide its clients through current changes in the industry.

Also on the day’s agenda, Affinia’s Terry McCormack discussed the role of “Know Your Parts” as it relates to the reputation of the automotive aftermarket. In addition, Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, provided an update on the role manufacturers play on Capitol Hill today.

Following Timmons’ presentation, Jay Burkhart of Federal-Mogul gave VisCon attendees an update on the status of OptiCat, the aftermarket’s newly created manufacturer-owned data cooperative.

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