In the July 2023 issue of AMN/Counterman, we gave leaders from the major distribution groups and trade associations an opportunity to reflect on the most critical issues affecting the automotive aftermarket. For the second year in a row, we let distribution leaders “riff” on these topics in their own words.
Here’s what Tina Hubbard, president and CEO of HDA Truck Pride, had to say on one of the most critical issues facing the automotive aftermarket today: Right to Repair.
Have you ever heard of the Congressional Baseball Game? No? Don’t fret: Until recently, I didn’t either!
Established in 1909 and set at Nationals Park, the game features actual members of the U.S. Congress playing America’s favorite pastime. Pitting Democrats against Republicans, members of Congress practice for months prior to the game and positively look forward to this annual charitable event. The halls of Congress are bustling, hotels are sold-out, and crowds of people are drawn to Washington, D.C. You may be asking: What does this have to do with our industry? Well, what a perfect time to meet with Congress and their staff to talk about the most important issue facing our industry: Right to Repair!
Established in 1909 and set at Nationals Park, the game features actual members of the U.S. Congress playing America’s favorite pastime. You may be asking: What does this have to do with our industry? Well, what a perfect time to meet with Congress and their staff to talk about the most important issue facing our industry: Right to Repair!
This year’s event took place on June 14, and HDA Truck Pride took full advantage of the opportunity. The Auto Care Association created an opportunity for HDA Truck Pride and Fleet Pride to co-sponsor a tailgate party prior to the game and to meet with strategically chosen Congressional teams. This event gave our industry the opportunity to speak with more than 200 Congressional staff members, with 20 sit-down meetings over two days, about the importance of Right to Repair. Our message was simple and stressed the importance of our industry in everyday life. The simple phrase “If you bought it, a truck brought it” drove the point home and opened candid and lively conversations about Right to Repair.
As we met with the various offices of Congress, we talked about the essence of the Right to Repair. Our message was that this is about the freedom of choice and access for everyone. The aftermarket, and especially the commercial-vehicle aftermarket, is a vital necessity to keeping our country moving. Critically important to this industry is “uptime,” and if the vehicle isn’t moving, we’re all losing.
Coincidentally, while our industry was advocating on The Hill, NHTSA presented a letter to the Counsel for Vehicle Manufacturers refuting the Right to Repair initiative based on safety concerns. The letter was extremely wordy, and we feel misinterpreted the Massachusetts “Data-Access Law,” but most certainly focused on passenger cars and the light-vehicle market. Even more interesting is the fact that as soon as we left D.C., a letter from American Truck Dealers arrived at the doorsteps of the Energy and Commerce Committee strongly opposing the REPAIR Act (H.R. 906).
Why am I writing about this? Because it’s working! Our voices are being heard. And our competition is ramping up and getting louder!
We are stronger together as a united voice. While our opposition is large and has deep pockets, our industry is mighty and massive as well. The only way to win is for every one of us to get involved. You can do this quickly by visiting www.repairact.com to send a letter to the your local federal legislators and by visiting www.autocareadvocacy.org to learn how to engage on a much deeper level. I implore you to join the industry in our fight to support the Right to Repair. Now is our time!