Impressions from Rematec Amsterdam: Remanufacturing will be everything

There’s a saying that “the train has left the station.” The good news is, the train is at the station, but it’s leaving soon. 

Peter Lukassen, Director, Automotive Aftermarket Operational Sustainability, Bosch. Photo by Mark Phillips/Aftermarket Intel

I’ve been spending the week in Amsterdam, learning more about remanufacturing at Rematec Amsterdam and I’ll tell you something I’ve taken away from it: in the coming years, remanufacturing will be everywhere and everything the industry does. 

Yes, there will be exceptions, I’m sure, but remanufacturing will play a significant if not dominant role in automotive parts and components manufacturing. 

There’s a saying that “the train has left the station.” The good news is, the train is at the station, but it’s leaving soon. 

Reman takes the original part, reuses the key components and yields finished goods that are “like new but better” than the originals, wrote John Chalifoux in a blog post for AAPEX. He is the Chief Sustainability Officer, MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association & COO, MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers.

The quality of reman is truly unmatched, Chalifoux said, so much so that during a panel discussion at Rematec Wednesday, he made a thought-provoking proposal. He recommended that remanufacturers should start by showcasing videos and photos from the end of the remanufacturing process, then rewind it back to the beginning. This way, it’s easier to appreciate what’s actually being done.

The reason why remanufacturing will soon dominate virtually all of the automotive industry is tied to several factors. As resources grow increasingly costly to locate and process, as more stringent regulations call for sustainable methodologies and as consumer demands shift towards more eco-friendly options, remanufacturing is destined to become the rule rather than the exception.

In an interview, Chalifoux said the global nature of remanufacturing is apparent in Amsterdam. “This is my sixth time coming to the show, he said. “Rematec has successfully brought this show to China, and what we’re seeing this time around is many of the exhibitors that we saw in China are also here this week, so it’s certainly more international.”

“With the European influence — that’s where we are — many American companies and American executives, but we’re seeing a more international flavor as remanufacturing continues to grow in importance in our world of sustainability and ESG,” Chalifoux said. 

Michael Hague-Morgan, Executive Director, Autocraft Solutions Group. Photo by Mark Phillips/Aftermarket Intel

Vehicle manufacturers like Stellantis already are in on the game, considering remanufacturing before the vehicle is ever built. Alison Jones, Senior Vice President of Global Circular Economy at Stellantis, asked show attendees to come to the car manufacturer and challenge the company’s thinking. 

The company is looking for new products and new innovations so it can expand its portfolio, she said. “We’re looking for suppliers… to really drive us at Stellantis,” Jones said. “We want suppliers and partners who are proactive in finding solutions to help us… growing regions, growing countries for the benefit of our customers.”

Alison Jones of Stellantis. Photo by Mark Phillips/Aftermarket Intel

For those who couldn’t visit the show, “I really want to share the spirit I’m feeling this year at the show,” said Peter Lukassen, Director, Automotive Aftermarket Operational Sustainability, Bosch. “The mentality is really changing” toward remanufactured products, he added. 

Piotr Sznicer of Turbo-Tec. Photo by Mark Phillips/Aftermarket Intel

“Customers are requesting it, both on the independent side, also on the OEM side,” he said. “You can look around our booth. It’s basically cramped with people. I’ve had so many interesting conversations. There are so many startups in this field. If you are not already in remanufacturing, have a look at it, have it in your portfolio as a customer, have it in your portfolio as a manufacturer, because, definitely, our industry is changing and we all have to go in this direction.” 

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