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New ACA president Hanvey charting proactive course

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BETHESDA, Md.—For Bill Hanvey, newly appointed president and CEO of the Auto Care Association (ACA), it boils down to this question: Did you choose the automotive aftermarket as a career, or did the aftermarket choose you?

“In my case, the industry chose me,” Mr. Hanvey told Tire Business.

Mr. Hanvey was 22 years old, just graduated from St. Bonaventure University, when a division of Gastonia, N.C.-based Wix Filters in upstate New York offered him a position.

“I never looked back,” he said.

Mr. Hanvey has had a varied career serving the aftermarket, most recently as senior vice president of programs and member services for the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), an affiliate organization of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).

There is a need for both the ACA and the AASA, as organizations that provide key benefits to their industry members, according to Mr. Hanvey.

“Suppliers must have the opportunity to have a common meeting ground to discuss issues of importance to them,” he said. “For the industry, there is a need to connect the dots between all segments. We provide information to the industry as a whole to help their businesses succeed.”

Before joining the AASA in 2012, Mr. Hanvey was vice president of sales and marketing for auto parts manufacturer Schaeffler Group. Before that, he was vice president of marketing for Dorman Products and also held sales and marketing positions with FleetPride and original equipment and aftermarket automotive parts manufacturer and supplier Tenneco Inc.

While he was fortunate enough to hold a variety of positions in the aftermarket, Mr. Hanvey said sales and marketing have always been his special areas of expertise.

Mr. Hanvey began as ACA president and CEO Dec. 1, replacing the retiring Kathleen Schmatz, who declined an interview invitation from Tire Business. Each day as he comes to work, he said, he is more and more impressed with the ACA staff members and their dedication to helping the membership on a daily basis.

“Obviously, I want to do more,” he said. “I want the ACA not just to adapt to future trends, but predict them. We need to be more proactive in predicting changes and providing the tools for members to adjust to those changes.”

Among current industry trends, Mr. Hanvey said, the No. 1 priority is telematics and emerging technologies.

Above all, he said, the ACA and the aftermarket industry need to ensure that original equipment companies don't prevent necessary technological information from being transmitted to independent repair shops and consumers.

“There are pitfalls and opportunities with telematics,” he said. “If we are granted full access, I see telematics as a very good opportunity for good shop owners to create a better relationship with their customers.”

Education and training is also a major issue for aftermarket companies, Mr. Hanvey said.

“How do we as an association provide access to education and training at all levels of the industry?” he asked.

The ACA has long had its Car Care Aware program to educate consumers about the benefits of proper vehicle maintenance, Mr. Hanvey said, “but what can we do at the shop level to educate customers on proper vehicle maintenance or having a properly inflated tire?”

The ACA is reaching out to similar associations—including the AASA, the Automotive Service Association, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and AAA Inc.—to create stronger working relationships toward improving education and training on both the technician and consumer level, Mr. Hanvey said.

Other areas Mr. Hanvey plans to pursue are:

c The sales of counterfeit parts online. “Online sales are the fastest-growing segment of the auto aftermarket,” Mr. Hanvey said. While it accounts for only 5 to 7 percent of total sales, it is expected to grow to 15 to 20 percent in the next 10 years, he said.

“This is the most vulnerable place for counterfeit goods,” he said. “People can't see what they're getting, and they're not necessarily buying from reputable dealers. We're very intent on closing down those operations.”

c Expanding market intelligence. “We need due diligence and research on those issues our members deem important,” Mr. Hanvey said.

c Taking cost out of the supply chain. “How can we take waste out of the system through better category management?” he said.

To reach this reporter: mmoore@crain.com

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