The conference, held at the ICC in Birmingham, welcomed an array of speakers to discuss a number of topical subjects affecting the industry and also offer essential advice to ensure the future of the aftermarket is protected, producing a lively debate for conference guests, while John Sergeant, the well-known BBC television and radio journalist, hosted the event.
IAAF chief executive, Wendy Williamson opened the proceedings summarising the political impact of the past year such as that of Brexit, while reassuring members that the federation is now looking to the future and exploring how it can embrace the changes and continue to thrive.
Williamson also provided an update on IAAF’s annual activity including its meeting with West Midlands MEP, Daniel Dalton to demonstrate first-hand the faults of parts identification at a local garage, as well as discussing the dinner IAAF hosted with IMCO to communicate its viewpoint on the implications of Euro 5 and IV to MEPs.
Williamson reflected on the threats affecting the aftermarket including the connected car, insisting that these challenges are not new but the pace of change is accelerating and the aftermarket has to gear up and adapt for what is around the corner.
She said: “As an industry we still face a number of threats with technological advances continuing to enter the market, as well as facing challenges of the changing economic climate and therefore it is more important than ever that we continue to work alongside FIGIEFA in Europe post Brexit.
“However, despite this year full of change we are making progress and will face all threats head on while continuing to search for solutions.”
Vehicle safety defects
Alison Martin and Ian Bartlett of the DVSA offered an overview on the topical matter of vehicle safety defects and the UK’s approach to vehicle recall, explaining key legislation and regulations in detail while also exploring ongoing revisions.
IAAF membership development manager, Mike Smallbone, gave an in-depth update on the Right2Choose campaign and the launch planned for 2017, emphasising the need to rejuvenate the market and catch up with the rest of Europe by raising awareness to block exemption legislation and overcoming huge customer ignorance surrounding this topic.
Delegates also learned more about the threats of cybercrime and how to better protect their business with Iain O’Brien from Triple Wood Associates on hand to provide critical advice.
Neil Pattemore from FIGIEFA was discussed the latest emerging threats to the aftermarket and the implications of Brexit, giving an end-of-term report from Brussels and a summary of legislation changes such as revised type approval and the federation’s commitment to highlighting the problems of the revision.
Pattemore also explored the threat of the connected car and the complicated proposals that give vehicle manufacturers (VMs) sole access to in-vehicle data.
Alexander Haid of Caruso then issued a direct warning to the aftermarket urging the industry to act now and begin to find a solution to the connected car.
Focusing on the Caruso telematics platform, Haid warned that the technology is already available and therefore the aftermarket should capitalise on this opportunity by “moving, investing and exploring” this huge market to find a single platform solution and ensure the future of the aftermarket, warning that if the aftermarket waits long, the VMs will take a bigger share.
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