In our cover story for the January issue of AMN/Counterman, we asked distribution leaders to reflect on the successes and challenges of 2022 and share some of their insights for the industry in 2023.
Here’s our Q&A with Tina Hubbard, president of HDA Truck Pride.
AMN/CM: What did your organization accomplish in 2022 that you are most proud of?
TH: So much was accomplished in 2022, but if I have to choose just one thing it would be compiling an extraordinary group of individuals on the HDA Truck Pride staff. We are at full staff for the first time since the pandemic started. This team is comprised of tremendously talented people who work as a cohesive unit to implement our strategy and operational objectives. They challenge each other to constantly look for new avenues to create value for our members and end-users. In working with our membership and listening to their pain points but more importantly, their aspirations, the team has created numerous value-added services for our members. With all that, we have had remarkable growth in 2022 and look for that to continue in 2023.
AMN/CM: How can the independent aftermarket parts and service segments best prepare to repair the vehicle of tomorrow?
TH: This one is near and dear to my heart. In my opinion, we need to be working on two things simultaneously: awareness and education. We should be working as a collective unit to bring a stronger awareness to the world as a whole, about our industry. To the average person, our industry is not sexy. It’s not even that enticing and has little to offer.
However, those within the industry know it is amazing and has much to offer the younger generation. All of us should be spreading that good word! Awareness of what our industry can bring to our next generations (future employees) is critical.
Investing in our future by educating the new generation about our industry and its vast growth and employment opportunities is paramount to us all. At the same time, we need to invest in our current employees and provide them with the tools, data, education and training to address the changing needs of our industry. Access to the information, well, that’s another story. Education is one of our key initiatives at HDA Truck Pride. It’s not easy, but it is definitely necessary. Collaboration can go a long way.
AMN/CM: What are some of the biggest trends that could have an impact on your business in 2023?
TH: For the trucking industry, new-truck builds, global sourcing and economic recession are three of the biggest trends that will impact the commercial vehicle industry. The new rule for 2027 EPA standards has ignited an increasingly large new-truck build. This brings good news and not-so-good news. Generally, a spike in new-truck demand lessens the availability of products in the aftermarket, something that could have an immediate impact on our business. The good news is that it keeps an excessive amount of internal combustion engine vehicles in play for a much longer time period. Global sourcing can create new opportunities for the industry and hopefully keeps the supply chain strong, and it should have a positive impact on our industry. Finally, an economic recession is looming. Most economists believe that a recession will be short-lived, with 2024 and 2025 as our recovery period. Even with these headwinds, I feel that the future has much excitement and growth ahead for HDA Truck Pride, our members and the entire industry!