From challenges around Block Exemption, vehicle electrification, skills and an ageing car parc, the IAAF Conference 2022 brought the aftermarket together to discuss how unity and togetherness could help the industry succeed through 2023 and beyond. Auto Repair Focus Editor Phil Curry discusses some of the key points from the event.
IAAF Conference 2022
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) held its annual conference on 8 December – in person for the first time since the pandemic – with the theme of overcoming adversity for a prosperous automotive aftermarket future.
Hosted by IAAF’s chief executive, Mark Field, this year’s event was once again sponsored by automotive aftermarket specialist, Alliance Automotive Group.
Field kicked off the proceedings at the IAAF Conference 2022 by welcoming delegates back to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes and thanking members for the support over the past couple of years as the world – and industry – returns to the ‘new normal’. Field also outlined the changes that have been happening in the Federation, including introducing the IAAF’s new training academy to inspire the next generation, and its efforts with UK AFCAR in lobbying government regarding MOTs and Block Exemption Regulations.
Mark concluded his speech explaining: “It’s time for the aftermarket to come out of the shadows and promote itself better to attract the best talent and highlight its brilliance. IAAF is embracing change so it can positively impact all members.”
This was all before announcing the first speaker of the IAAF Conference 2022, Neil Pattemore from UK AFCAR & IAAF Technical Director to the stage. Pattemore discussed the changes in the aftermarket, the access available to industry data, as well as giving an insight into legislation affecting the UK automotive aftermarket in a post-Brexit era.
Next up was Matt Cleevely of Cleevely EV, talking attendees through the transition for the sector into electric vehicles (EVs) and how the aftermarket is in a strong position to look after the future of the market.
After a short break, hotly anticipated former SAS Soldier, sniper and paratrooper, Robin Horsfall, delivered the IAAF Conference 2022 keynote speech, meeting the conference theme of ‘overcoming adversity’ with his life experience – and discussing the importance of good leadership.
Lunch was served after Robin’s powerful talk, and when delegates returned to the conference room, Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) provided an economic update and the effects on the sector.
Quentin Le Hetet from GIPA hit the stage next, offering an informative insight into where the aftermarket is heading in the not-so-distant future, as he presented the findings of the first IAAF Aftermarket Trend Index.
To conclude the informative line up of speakers, members attending the IAAF Conference 2022 heard from Julia Muir, CEO of Gaia Innovation and Founder of the Automotive 30% Club, who set out how the aftermarket can achieve and support a better gender balance within the automotive industry.