SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The charter members of the China Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance (CAAPA) journeyed to the United States for their inaugural orientation on the North American aftermarket in general and the Alliance specifically.
Initially, they met with Alliance staff leadership for a deep dive on such subjects as category management, IT and marketing. Dan Rader, Alliance VP of product and category management, said he was impressed with their interest in category management and their understanding of the need and means for differentiating themselves with products and brands. Rader believes that China is a market where “line cards” will be as significant as or even more than they were in the U.S. 40 years ago.
“As it was in North America, access to brands will be critical to their growth in China,” Rader said. “They understand that having key brands, especially the top American aftermarket brands, will boost their credibility with their customer base.”
As their visit continued, the contingent met with key strategic supplier channel partners including Bosch, Gates, Delphi, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, Tenneco, WIX, WAI Global, Winhere Brake Parts and the Schaeffler Group.
John R. Washbish, president and CEO of the Alliance, said he is excited about the opportunity the CAAPA arrangement will create for these key suppliers. “We have built solid, mutually beneficial partnerships with our channel partners through the years and that tradition continues with our new China involvement.
“Many of our suppliers do a standout job manufacturing in China but have little or nothing in the way of local distribution,” Washbish added. “CAAPA represents a tremendous opportunity for them to sell into the rapidly developing Chinese aftermarket. It represents real growth for them and us. Based on their exuberance and the support they have pledged, it’s obvious that they also are very excited.”
As their North American visit continues the group will tour distribution centers, affiliated stores and make calls on Certified Service Centers.
“This is an exciting time,” said Washbish. “The Chinese marketplace has almost no aftermarket infrastructure to service and repair the burgeoning vehicle population. The Chinese Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance (CAAPA) is the first auto parts distribution group in China and has the potential to define the path to market for parts in China. We are all thrilled to be involved with this genesis.”