Webster’s defines a name as: a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing.
Seems simple enough. It’s what we get called or what we call ourselves. Hopefully, it’s something instantly recognizable. Over time, names tend to go in and out of favor and new ones are created. I think we have seen much of that over the past 10 years or so.
Recently, we here at Babcox Media were fortunate enough to have Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), along with Richard White of AAIA, in to discuss some very exciting news for our industry. The AAIA is becoming the Auto Care Association. Obviously absent from the new name is the word “aftermarket.” The term aftermarket has been around this business for a long time. The trouble is, for those outside our industry, it is very confusing. It really does not define what goes on here or the magnitude of our industry’s importance.
Why do we care what people outside our world think of us? Because many things, including Washington, affect our day-to-day activities and our livelihoods. AAIA recently represented our industry in the landmark Right to Repair decision that will allow all of us to compete on a level playing field. The Be Car Care Aware initiative is another effort to bring our industry into the public eye while stressing the importance of vehicle maintenance. We are a vital part of our country’s individual transportation independence and it needs to be protected on a regular basis.
Another reason to keep the auto care industry at the forefront is to constantly attract qualified workers to jobs in our sector. It is estimated that at any given time, we have 300,000 jobs that need to be filled in our space. Those jobs vary in scope from highly trained skilled to professionals and everything in-between. We need the best and brightest to be interested in our space to ensure we stay competitive and jobs stay here.
Changing a name on paper is a very straightforward action. Changing a perception of an industry at the same time is a tremendous undertaking. Please visit autocare.org to find out more about this initiative and all that is going on to support this great industry of ours.