SEMA News Roundup: Updates from CREF, WIN and More

Nov. 4, 2022

CREF and WIN had updates to share among some of the news being made at SEMA.

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 4, 2022)—On Day 3 of the 2022 SEMA Show, the news kept coming around the collision repair industry.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced Thursday that thanks to its Benchmark Grant program it was able to donate $436,000 to benefit 69 schools with collision repair programs. Industry partners made up a bulk of the donations as CREF will be able to jump start the education effort of several programs.

“Congratulations to the CREF Benchmark grant recipient schools and thank you to our industry partners for their continued support,” said CREF Managing Director Brandon Eckenrode via a press release. “I would also like to specifically recognize the instructors who applied for the grants as it shows their commitment to bettering their collision programs, which in turn allows them to provide a quality technical education for their students and prepare them for industry entry-level employment. These grants will help instructors with their limited program budgets and CREF is in a unique role of directing industry support to collision programs in need.”  

WIN Opens Most Influential Women Award Nominations

The Women's Industry Network announced that nominations are now open for the Most Influential Women Award. Nominations are open to recognize women from any segment of the collision repair industry who are leaders in their field. Nominations will be accepted now until Jan. 6, 2023, with the winners being announced at the annual WIN Educational Conference in May.

“It is important to recognize women for their leadership. This award focuses on four areas: industry influence, professional accomplishments, mentoring and support for others in the collision repair industry, and going beyond the requirements of their professional lives to give back to their communities,” said Jenny Anderson, WIN MIW committee member and immediate past WIN board chair, via a press release. “The MIW nomination process is a great way to recognize deserving women and to let them know they are making a difference. If you are a fan of a woman who excels in the areas mentioned, please go to our website to share her accomplishments with our dedicated team, so she can be considered for this esteemed recognition.” 

AAPEX Briefing Shows a Positive Outlook for Aftermarket

The next couple years may prove to be a crucial window for implementing Right to Repair and related legislation on the federal level, aftermarket representatives said during a media briefing at AAPEX.

The briefing, which kicked off day two of AAPEX, included Ann Wilson, SVP of legislative affairs for the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).

Wilson said that “2023 and 2024 I believe are our years to get this done.” Proposed legislation includes the Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act and the Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act. Bills like this would need to be reintroduced in the new Congress after the 2022 elections. 

Wilson added that 27 states are considering some kind of Right to Repair legislation, though many are related to sectors like electronics and farm equipment. But Wilson says the organization is happy about the growing sentiment toward consumer repair choice. 

“What we see is a growing awareness of elected officials…that this is an important consumer issue,” she said. 

Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), said that the organization will release a report in 2023 that examines the impact and growth of ADAS, which McCarthy called the “revolution that’s happening right now.” 

Through a combination of government mandates of ADAS features and improved technology, ADAS prevalence in vehicles is set to grow at a rapid pace. 

“ADAS parts will be over a billion-dollar market between repair and collision and mechanical by 2035,” he said.

McCarthy said that the aftermarket will have challenges to meet the tooling and training requirements needed to work on those components. But it also presents a big opportunity for repairers. 

McCarthy also offered comments on the prospects of the automotive aftermarket amid economic uncertainty on a global level. He said that his organization is confident in the resilience of the aftermarket during tough times. 

“What we’ve seen in recessions, the aftermarket has consistently been one of the best segments to be in,” he said. 

McCarthy pointed to consumer patterns during economic downturns of the past. Vehicle owners are more likely to hold onto used vehicles and take them in for repairs and maintenance to maximize their longevity.  

He added that the past decade has been a time of unprecedented growth for the aftermarket. Thus, shops are in a good position for the times.

“We’re working from a much higher floor than what we’ve had before,” McCarthy said. “And moreover, we believe that we are leaving the pandemic with consumer settling patterns and lifestyles that are more dependent on the vehicle than ever before.” 

About the Author

FenderBender Staff Reporters

The FenderBender staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and collision repair experience.

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