New AIA chair sets goals as the organization enters its 30th year
Feb. 22, 2011 — Stephen Bearden, chairman-elect of the Automotive International Association (AIA), said he plans to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary this year by improving in its three key service areas.
He said the AIA board of directors will act as a watchdog and voice in government affairs, provide educational opportunities to enhance the skill and knowledge of the import supply chain, and help members do more business through trade and networking events. Those events will include AAPEX and virtual initiatives.
The AIA, founded in 1981, was assembled to champion free and fair trade between the international parts community and North American aftermarket, and to promote the qualities and distribution of parts for import vehicles. It became a segment of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) in 2002. Today, its members include international manufacturers and their representatives, importers, retailers, distributors, wholesalers, trade media, consultants and others.
“Thirty years ago, AIA was founded to provide a bulwark against government and OEM interests whose goal was to restrict the ability of the aftermarket to provide the best possible products and services to our customers,” said Brian Cohn, president of Multi Parts Supply USA and outgoing AIA chairman. “Today, on behalf of over 800 member companies and with the staunch support of AAIA, we continue to lead the fight for free and fair trade.”