At a Glance: Live from GAAS
At this year's Global Symposium, our Advanstar Automotive Group (AAG) News Network captured interviews with dozens of industry leaders in attendance, ranging from distributors and shop owners to manufacturers and association representatives. TradePro Media once again worked with the AAG News Network (NN) – the broadcast sister of Aftermarket Business – to produce the videos, and Larry Silvey, group editorial director, sat down with interviewees to get their thoughts on the industry's present and future.
Passersby at the event were able to watch the live interviews in progress, as well as see the video editing being completed onsite and the Web site updated as live content was added regularly.
In addition to the main interviews, up-to-the-minute coverage was pumped into the group's many Web sites. Below are some of the highlights from this year's sit down with aftermarket newsmakers. For the complete interviews, visit www.search-autoparts.com/videos.
President, CEO, The Marx Group
"The youth of America, I don't think, has embraced being an auto technician, or working in an auto parts store, and that's going to impact the senior management level. We really need to find a way to attract the youth to come into this market."
Senior VP, BB&T Capital Markets
"Should we think that gasoline at $4 a gallon is where we stop? Probably not...I don't think gas prices will go back to $2 a gallon. The likelihood is they'll at least stay where they are today or perhaps trend higher. It's tough. It's not the answer that most people think about or would want to hear. We'd all rather be back in 2005."
Chairman, Jarmms Associates
"As car dealers are suffering from the loss of new car sales, the margins are squeezed. How does a dealer survive? He's concentrating on service and parts."
Senior VP, Technomic Asia
"We're seeing the quality of parts in China gradually but steadily increasing. We're seeing almost in any part segment you want to look at in China you'll find hundreds of suppliers. From the massive junk producers of 10,15 years ago have emerged several of these local producers who are starting to produce acceptable quality...certainly adaptable for the aftermarket. We see these companies making steady, not revolutionary, but evolutionary, strides in terms of quality across the board."
"I am told that oil is at a bubble and that the bubble will break and prices will come back down. I don't know what that means, but it's hard to believe that $3 (a gallon) might sound like a reasonable price again when just a few short years ago, anything over $2.50 sounded absurd."
Ernst & Young
"The climate change legislation has really pushed the vehicle manufacturers to come up with new alternative fuel sources, and what we're beginning to see now is a shift from regulatory driven reactions to consumer driven activities, where the consumers are thinking more green."
Marketing Manager, Aftermarket Division, NGK Spark Plugs
"As far as the industry goes, I think we'll have a good year because many of the last few years, we've experienced a lot of underperformed maintenance, and at some point in time, those vehicles have to be maintained."
President, Distribution Marketing Systems
"Whoever heard of Internet auto parts five years ago, and yet there are many budding companies just based on Internet auto parts. It used to be difficult to get information on new vehicles, and now it's almost instantaneous. I think the collaboration is getting better because of the technical support systems."
CEO, Parts Depot
"We're not looking for a particularly good year this year. Hopefully, I'm gonna be wrong and be called a pessimist."