The IAAF (Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation) Annual Conference, held back in December addressed some of the major issues affecting the automotive industry. Highlighting some of the changes that have occurred in 2014 in both the commercial and passenger vehicle aftermarkets, the conference looked ahead to the coming year with a focus on change, challenge and opportunity.
A Changing Industry
Noted members of the aftermarket spoke at the event, and highlighted how we can respond to a changing aftermarket industry. Chief Executive of the IAAF, Wendy Williamson, warned in her opening speech that we “must not underestimate the power and influence that the Vehicle Manufacturers have with government, at home and throughout Europe.” It was widely agreed that vehicle manufacturers have become much more aggressive in their agenda in recent years.
Chris Oakham of specialists in automotive market research, Trend Tracker, highlighted a change in automotive service trends in the UK, with more people opting to wait until items fail and fix them, rather than keeping to a responsible annual service schedule. Andy Savva, of Brunswick Garage, called for garage owners to invest in tools and training, and ‘work smarter, not harder’.
This event is always useful to us, in allowing us to monitor changes in the industry and adapt our aftermarket services accordingly.
For A Good Cause
Yet another positive to come from the IAAF Annual Awards and dinner back in December was that it raised more than £11,000 for automotive industry charity BEN.
“BEN is the UK’s dedicated charity for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive and related industries, as well as their dependants.”
BEN exists to provide help, care and support to members of the automotive industry community when they are experiencing hardship or distress. After an amusing and entertaining appeal by BEN Chief Operating Officer, Nigel Rothband, the IAAF audience generously reached into their pockets to make donations in a variety of ways – envelope donations, raffles and a silent auction.
“The IAAF is so proud of its membership for its continual and unwavering support for the automotive industry charity BEN and their generosity at the recent IAAF Annual Conference and Awards Dinner will go a long way in supporting the high quality care BEN continues to provide.”
Wendy Williamson, IAAF Chief Executive