BETHESDA, Md. (Oct. 17, 2013) — The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) recently hosted leaders of several European and South African aftermarket organizations for week-long talks about vehicle industry-related issues.
The AAIA said the goal of the talks was "to promote cooperation on legislative and technical issues of importance to the economic health of the independent auto care industry on a global basis." Among topics addressed were Right to Repair, challenges posed by car company telematics systems and the common goals for the U.S./European Union (EU) free trade agreement currently being negotiated.
Participants in the meetings, held in Bethesda and Washington, D.C., included:
• FIGIEFA—The Brussels-based international federation and political representative of independent wholesalers and retailers of automotive replacement parts and their associated repair chains;
• EGEA—The Brussels-based European Garage and Equipment Association, representing the interests of both manufacturers and importers of garage and test equipment; and
• MIWA—Located in six regions of South Africa, the Motor Industry Workshop Association is part of the umbrella Retail Motor Industry Association that represents repair garages conducting general repairs, auto electricians, driveline and transmission specialists and vehicle accessory centers.
Also participating in the talks were the Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI), the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and AIA Canada. Bethesda-based AAIA said they sought to address technical issues related to access by the independent repair industry to original equipment telematics systems.
AAIA also hosted a meeting between European representatives and the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) to gain better understanding of its efforts to resolve service information issues and, in particular, the development and implementation of the Secure Data Release Model that permits locksmiths and repair shops to reinitialize vehicle security systems following repairs.
Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO, said "just as the automotive industry has become global, the vehicle aftermarket also has become a global industry and therefore it is critical that AAIA work together with our counterparts around the world to ensure our industry's future.
"We were extremely pleased to host these meetings and are committed to working with other organizations dedicated to a strong consumer-driven vehicle repair industry."