A select group of Canadian representatives from the industry accepted an invitation from AIA Canada to join them for an intimate cocktail reception at the SEMA/AAPEX shows, currently underway in Las Vegas.
Readers will understand that the pandemic has had a direct impact on the attendance and presence of Canadian automotive aftermarket representatives at this event. However, AIA Canada wanted to hold a meeting with its strategic partners and sponsors to mark the occasion.
The cocktail party was more modest than in the past, but it was appreciated by the dozens of participants who did not hide their pleasure of being there. The conversations were remarkably positive. All could relate to the penalizing effects of supply problems or the difficulties in finding the human resources to support them. They all also seemed to agree that the industry is positioning itself with determination to meet the challenges of the future, especially technological ones.
“It was important for us to hold this meeting,” said Bob Jaworski, AIA Canada’s Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“To go two years without issuing this invitation would have been dramatic. We all know how important it is to keep in touch and, despite the circumstances we are facing, this was a great opportunity to renew the rich tradition of Canadian presence at this event.”
AIA at work
Jean-François Champagne, AIA Canada President, could not agree more with the Chairman’s message. For him, the Canadian evening has always been a valuable opportunity to forge links between industry representatives in a collaborative setting.
But beyond his participation in the cocktail party, Champagne took advantage of his presence on American soil to meet with representatives of sister associations who are also fighting to advance the interests of the automotive aftermarket south of our borders.
“Meetings with representatives of Auto Care and AASA, as well as discussions with NASTF, allow us to follow the evolution of issues that affect us directly in Canada. There is currently important work being done by our American colleagues to use the Massachusetts case as leverage to obtain federal legislation for the right to repair,” explains Champagne.
The progress of this case, which pits automakers against consumers, and, in turn, independent shops, would have a direct impact on access to the data needed to service vehicles by our shops.