The automotive aftermarket needs your voice

As the upcoming Auto Care Association's Fall Leadership Days and Legislative Summit approaches, the timing couldn't be more critical.

As the upcoming Auto Care Association’s Fall Leadership Days and Legislative Summit approaches, the timing couldn’t be more critical. This moment represents more than just a networking event; it is a crossroads for the aftermarket. With challenges such as the “Right to Repair” legislation hanging in the balance, our collective influence must be channeled toward lawmakers. I’ve been there, and I can tell you, your presence and your voice make a difference. Here’s why it’s crucial to get involved.

Awareness is part of the battle
The first thing you’ll might notice when you walk into a legislator’s office is awareness. Politicians and their staffers often don’t know about the intricacies and importance of the automotive aftermarket industry. After all, they may be new to D.C. This unawareness is not just limited to industry statistics or economic impacts; it also extends to vital issues like consumers’ right to repair their vehicles. 

Right to Repair: More than just a buzzword
“Right to Repair” isn’t a new term, but it’s gaining momentum in a world increasingly dominated by integrated technology. The REPAIR Act, as Auto Care Association’s President and CEO Bill Hanvey pointed out, is critical for the industry. Consumers should have the right to choose who gets to access their vehicle’s data and who can repair it. Whether it’s your neighborhood garage or a car dealership, that choice should be in the consumer’s hands, not monopolized by manufacturers or other vested interests.

Strength in numbers
During the Auto Care Legislative Summit in which I participated, more than 300 industry professionals took to Capitol Hill to make our collective voice heard. We need those numbers and more. Lawmakers listen when a robust community speaks in a unified voice. The power of numbers can tip the scales in favor of legislation that supports our industry and consumers alike.

A platform for strategic discussion
Beyond the Legislative Summit, the Fall Leadership Days also offer an indispensable forum for industry leaders and volunteers. These meetings provide opportunities to shape vital initiatives and discuss pressing issues. Your contribution, whether as an active member or volunteer leader, can help steer the Association’s broader strategy, making your involvement doubly impactful.

Support and resources
For those daunted by the prospect of discussing complex issues with politicians, worry not. The Association’s government affairs team provides a comprehensive package that includes schedules, resources and talking points for each engagement. All you need to bring is your passion for the industry. I admit I felt a bit apprehensive at first, but your expertise will soon taken over. After all, who knows your part of the aftermarket better than you?

For me, meeting face-to-face with lawmakers and telling them our industry’s story was both enlightening and empowering. I encourage you to mark your calendars for Sept. 20-22, 2023. Register for the events, and bring your passion and insights to the table. Our industry’s future may very well depend on it!

Join your colleagues in the global automotive aftermarket. Get the Aftermarket Intel Briefing, edited by Mark Phillips, AAP.

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