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AAIA Rebrand Points to Industry's Growing Importance

On January 27, 2014, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) announced the adoption of a new name and identity, so effective this April, AAIA will be known as the Auto Care Association.

Why the change? As Association President and CEO Kathleen Schmatz explained, “Because it more accurately reflects the industry we represent.” Whether member companies manufacture, supply, distribute, or sell auto parts or provide auto service and repair they “play a key role in the care of people’s automobiles.”

As part of their due diligence, the Association found the term “aftermarket” was often vague and misunderstood, leaving some outside the automotive aftermarket industry with a negative impression. Association members believe the re-brand positions the Association to more clearly and accurately communicate its value-proposition as an industry champion for driver independence.

Like the rebranding successes of Apple, Harley Davidson, McDonald’s, and IBM, the AAIA’s new identity serves as a reminder to organizations and individuals alike that we live and work in a competitive world. To be successful, we should be open to finding new and meaningful ways to accomplish our mission.

We have been proud to serve this great industry for more than forty years with the only accredited bachelor and master’s degree programs in the United States focused on developing the managers and leaders of this $360 billion segment of the U.S. economy.  Like the AAIA, we have found it to be challenging with some prospective students to communicate the breadth of opportunities afforded to program graduates.  That’s why we at Northwood University enthusiastically welcome and admire this move and will use it as a benchmark as we review our University brand and the brand of one of our most important academic programs. As leaders in Aftermarket Management education, we know firsthand the vital and growing role this industry—led and managed in part by Northwood University alumni—plays in today’s global economy.

Have a great weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D. President and CEO Northwood University 4000 Whiting Drive Midland, MI 48640 989.837.4203

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