Jack Creamer, president of Distribution Marketing Services, says the industry's communication system is strong and continues to grow because of technical support systems.
Denny Welvaert, president, N.A. Aftermarket Division, Mark IV Automotive, says suppliers and distributors must help techs understand the difference between quality and sub-standard parts.
Fotios Katsardis, CEO, Temot International, says the global economy is the focus for Temot as the company explores opportunities worldwide. Katsardis is particularly interested in identifying synergistic relationships to improve overall efficiencies.
Lisa Kranc, senior vice president of marketing, AutoZone, talks about the value of change and focus in the marketplace with regard to a recent AAIA strategic initiative.
Mark Seng, vice president aftermarket and commercial vehicle, R.L. Polk & Co., discusses the origin of the company's inventory efficiency awards, which grew from the industry-wide problem of excess inventory.
Don James, marketing director for Continental, says companies must find a way to build sustainable environmental solutions going forward, and not just label products as "green" to appease the marketplace. A true commitment is key.
Rollie Olson, CEO, Parts Depot, has bullish expectations going forward as vehicles age. Consumers will get used to dealing with higher gas prices over the long term and the industry will get back to its annual growth of 2 percent or 3 percent.
Advertising and marketing budgets typically are impacted at the middle of the year, but Tom Marx, president and CEO of the Marx Group, says he has seen the opposite.
Bill Strauss, senior economist/economic advisor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, says we are skirting a recession during times of a sluggish economy in the US. Areas such as the manufacturing sector and energy related businesses are thriving.
Tony Cristello, Senior V.P., BB&T Capital Markets, says rising gas prices may be a constant, not a trend. Business owners need to embrace this reality and make adjustments such as tighter controls on building and vehicle cooling to offset the costs.