Transportation & Logistics Industry Update
What We’re Reading
With the automotive aftermarket undergoing significant evolution and change, AAPEX 2018 featured the latest new products and innovations, advanced training by industry experts, and current and futuristic technology demonstrations to keep attendees ahead of the curve. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and took place Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
When auto parts retailers talk about their financial performance – past, present or future – the impact of weather patterns often enters the conversation. But as we look ahead to 2019, AutoZone Chairman and CEO Bill Rhodes isn’t totally comfortable playing the role of meteorologist. Rhodes, however, is happy to talk about falling gasoline prices and other current fundamentals that look “favorable” to the automotive aftermarket.
“As our economy enters the later stages of an extended growth cycle, we know when economic times get difficult, our customers turn to us more frequently out of economic necessity to help them stretch their resources,” Rhodes explained.
It may not be surprising that most U.S. vehicle owners want full access to and control of their vehicles' telematics data, including maintenance and repair information, according to the results of a survey sponsored by the Auto Care Association (ACA). The survey results, along with independent repair shops' determination to not lose market share, served as an impetus for the ACA's launch of the Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI) during the recent Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. SVI is an internationally standardized technical design that provides for secure and standardized access to the In-Vehicle Networks (IVN) for access to operational, maintenance and driver behavioral data by the automotive aftermarket and vehicle owners.
Today, 3-D printing is speeding design and prototyping processes, creating unique tools for each production line, and making an increasing number of end-use parts for standard and customized vehicles, as well as on-demand spare parts manufacture. With millions of parts already 3-D printed and in use, the automotive industry is set to continue to pick up the pace of adoption. The road ahead is clear for more automotive 3-D printing as the technology is both competitive advantage and, increasingly, necessary for keeping up with the competition.
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(Indexed to November 15th, 2017)
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Harris Williams is a leading advisor to the transportation and logistics M&A market. Our Transportation & Logistics Group serves companies in a broad range of attractive niches, including third-party logistics (3PL), truck, rail, marine and air transportation, transportation equipment, and the automotive and heavy duty vehicle market.
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