Industry outlook for 2009 | Offshore outsourcing declines | RepairPal introduces tool for the iPhone
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January 29, 2009
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News for Automotive Aftermarket Professionals

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AAIA Features New Monthly Aftermarket Perspectives from The NPD Group
AAIA Features New Monthly Aftermarket Perspectives from The NPD Group
As a new monthly feature, AAIA SmartBrief will include Aftermarket Perspectives, a communication from The NPD Group. It delivers insight into industry trends and examines business issues imperative to aftermarket manufacturers and retailers. Click here for the first edition, covering the Hispanic demographic.
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Automotive Trends
Industry outlook for 2009
Aftermarket expert Tony Cristello predicts the industry will see an increase in demand for parts and services, consolidations of independent operators and consumer flexibility for spending money on upgrades as gas prices stabilize. "The new administration has already hinted at a sizable stimulus package to help revitalize consumer spending, and if recent history is any indicator, provide a nice same store sales spark for aftermarket participants," Cristello writes. Business (2/1)
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Offshore outsourcing declines
Manufacturers are saving less from outsourcing auto parts because the dollar is weaker and the labor forces in many countries are maturing. "In many cases, businesses are finding that the limited savings in labor costs can be lost due to higher transportation costs, longer lead times and the resulting higher inventory burden," says Steve Handschuh, president of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association. The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals has said it expects federal spending on infrastructure and an large local labor pool will result in more parts being made domestically in 2009. Business (2/1)
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RepairPal introduces tool for the iPhone
RepairPal has introduced the first iPhone application that offers consumers auto-repair pricing and roadside assistance. "We're proud to give consumers the critical, money saving auto repair information they've been asking for on a mobile platform, anytime, anywhere," said CEO David Sturtz. (1/22)
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Small outfits struggle as income plummets
With consumers cutting back on spending and banks cutting back on lending, small-business owners across the country have been forced to lay off workers, cut hours and drop plans for expansion. Small-business owners are the most pessimistic they have been in five years, according to a new Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index report. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (1/24)
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Capital Report
WTO Approves Chinese Request for Dispute Panel Regarding U.S. Duties
The World Trade Organization on Jan. 20 agreed to establish a dispute panel to rule on a Chinese complaint against U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of Chinese steel pipes, tubes, tires and woven sacks.
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European Commission Adopts Final Chemical Classification and Labeling Rules
The European Commission on Jan. 16 amended a directive, known as the 31st Adaptation to Technical Progress, on dangerous substances introducing EU-wide classification and labeling rules for more than 600 chemical substances.
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80% of Vehicles Need Service and Parts, Reports Car Care Council
Results of vehicle checkup events at community car care events across the country in April and October revealed that 80% of vehicles need service or parts, underscoring the huge untapped DIY and DIFM sales opportunities for the automotive aftermarket, the Car Care Council reported today. The unsatisfactory condition of vehicles also reinforces the continued need for consumer education about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.
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Car Care Council Women's Board Winter Meeting Early-Bird Deadline Extended
The early-bird registration deadline for the 2009 Women's Board Winter Meeting at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in San Diego, Feb. 25 and 26, has been extended to Feb. 6. Register today and you can still save $50 on your registration fee. Registration also includes a group dinner on Feb. 25, breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception on Feb. 26, as well as a tour of the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Click here for a complete agenda. Click here to download the registration form. For more information or to become a member of the Car Care Council Women's Board, visit
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University of the Aftermarket Establishes Alumni Association
The University of the Aftermarket Alumni Association will support a wide range of activities designed to serve industry professionals who have participated in one or more university courses, as well as those who have achieved their Automotive Aftermarket Professional or Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional certifications. Alumni Association events are also open to any aftermarket professional with an interest in pursuing continuing education through the University of the Aftermarket.
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Opportunities multiply as they are seized."
-- Sun Tzu,
Chinese general, author of "The Art of War"
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