Robert Roos: Aftermarket Adapting to Unprecedented Change

Robert Roos: Aftermarket Adapting to Unprecedented Change

"We are prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow head-on and with a passion unlike any other."

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 Robert Roos, president/CEO of the Pronto Automotive Distribution Network, had to say on the current state of the aftermarket.

When I stop and take a minute to reflect on the current state of the automotive aftermarket, I am both overwhelmed and amazed at the amount of change and innovation taking place at all levels of distribution today. Never in my nearly 40 years in this industry have I experienced such a fast-paced and significant number of challenges facing our members, customers and supplier partners. 

We are faced with emerging technologies; the battle for access to data; unprecedented consolidation at all levels of the supply chain; and the challenge of labor shortages – all while attempting to fight the day-to-day battles to win business against increasing competition from a variety of different fronts. And yet our industry continues to thrive. Resiliency is the word I like to use when talking about the automotive aftermarket. How would anyone predict the kind of results our industry continues to show in the midst of economic challenges, supply chain issues and a variety of other pressures we face?

I believe it is our ability to adapt and change at such a rapid pace that allows us to continue to thrive. We are a close-knit community and while we may compete against one another, we also know when to work together for the betterment of all. We work together to increase involvement in the issues that challenge all of us today, whether it is supporting the Repair Act to ensure our access to the necessary data to maintain everyone’s ability to keep safe vehicles on the road at a reasonable cost; working to increase awareness of our labor shortage within the industry; or creating new ways to make our industry safer for the environment and increase our sustainability footprint.

To continue the success of the past, we must remain alert to these issues and others that may develop as our industry continues its rapid paced transformation. We have a responsibility to keep our entire industry informed of these very important issues. Thankfully, we are better prepared to do this today than ever before. We have our industry associations, program groups, various networking groups and others spreading the word. We have industry events that encourage participation and educate attendees on the important issues of the day. I am confident that the automotive aftermarket of today is ready for what the future holds. I am proud of our industry, what we have accomplished and those things we will accomplish in the future. We are prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow head-on and with a passion unlike any other.

What is the current state of the aftermarket? In a sentence I would say our industry is economically sound, poised for the future and ready to keep consumers on the road no matter what challenges lie ahead. In a word, my answer would be resilient.

The Pronto Network       

  • Founded: Formed from the merger of National Pronto Association and The Automotive Distribution Network in 2021
  • Headquarters: Grapevine, Texas
  • Number of members/shareholders: 200+
  • Number of distribution centers: 375+
  • Number of parts stores: 1,500+
  • Number of suppliers: 200+
  • Website: www.theprontonetwork.com

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