AAAA Adds Two Senior Leadership Roles

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has created two new senior leadership roles – Head of Operations and Strategy, and Head of Membership and Marketing – which it says are designed to add more membership value and drive strategic opportunities that will benefit the broader industry.

“With recent growth of the Association and the scope of work we are undertaking for our members and the broader industry, it is important that we bolster our resources to fulfil our purpose and strategic objectives,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA. “These new leadership roles will help AAAA to have a clear strategic direction and drive efficiencies and growth that will benefit members.

“The appointments made to fill the new roles bring an enormous amount of talent, experience and leadership capability into our organisation. They will provide expertise and resources needed to help drive the strategic direction and growth of our business as we continue to expand our industry influence and membership value.”

The AAAA said Tiffany Conway was appointed as Head of Membership and Marketing to deliver a comprehensive membership strategy to drive sustained growth and member satisfaction. Conway will also lead AAAA public relations efforts, manage major communication and education campaigns, and provide leadership and oversight of the membership, marketing, major events and publication teams.

According to the AAAA, Conway has over 20 years’ experience in senior membership and marketing roles. She has experience working in not-for-profit organisations, including The Guild Group (Pharmacy Guild of Australia) and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), and holds a Bachelor of Arts (English and Sociology) and Associate Diploma in Business and Marketing.

“Tiffany’s experience in strategic membership and marketing roles shines through. She has the perfect mix of strategic marketing focus and consistent results in membership satisfaction and growth to take the Association forward,” said Charity.

For the Head of Operations and Strategy position, the AAAA appointed John Braden to manage operations and finances. The association said he will also work closely with the CEO to drive the strategic direction and growth of the business and assist in the development and roll out of new commercial opportunities.

Braden also has over 20 years’ experience in senior finance and commercial roles with Ford, Toyota and BMW in Australia, along with BMW in Europe. He has served on a number of company boards and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Banking and Finance) and Associate Diploma in Business.

“With a unique mix of strategic ability and demonstrated success in the automotive sphere, John’s strong commercial background, financial acumen and strategic focus will provide a strong foundation for future growth that will strengthen the AAAA, our membership and the broader industry.” said Charity.

BASF Says White Was Most Popular in 2019

BASF has released its annual colour report, the BASF Colour Report 2019 For Automotive OEM Coatings, revealing that 39 per cent of all cars built around the world are painted white. In Asia Pacific, almost every second car is white, whereas in North America and EMEA, it’s nearly every third car.

Black, grey and silver are the next three most popular colours, counting a combined 39 per cent of all cars that rolled off the assembly line in 2019. About nine per cent of vehicles produced globally were blue, while seven per cent were painted red. BASF said that each colour addresses an emotional motive that goes with car ownership and individuality.

In the EMEA region, 77 per cent of all vehicles have achromatic colours with white dominating the numbers, grey and black in second and third place respectively, and blue in fourth with 11 per cent.

North America sees white, black, silver and grey as the leading colours in that order, also sitting at 77 per cent of the market’s cars in total. BASF also made a special reference to pickup trucks in North America, noting that they are mostly white at 38 per cent and followed by red at a “relatively high” 11 per cent.

Most vehicles in Asia Pacific are achromatic, also holding 77 per cent colour share which is unchanged from the previous year. Almost every second car is white which dominates at 49 per cent – the highest among all regions. Black is low compared to other regions but is getting more attention as a sporty and individual form of expression.

White is still the favourite among South American customers, holding a market share of 39 per cent. Silver rates second with 23 per cent, grey third at 14 per cent and black fourth at 11 per cent. Red is still the favourite chromatic colour in South America with eight per cent of market share, followed by blue and beige which both held two per cent each.

The BASF Colour Report 2019 For Automotive OEM Coatings analyses data from BASF’s Coatings division based on global automotive production and paint application to light vehicles in 2019. To read the full report, click here.

New Book Unveiled For The Collision Repair Industry

Authors John Stuef and Amy Bradshaw have released a book, titled From Doing to Leading: Your Guide for Inspiring People on the Front Lines.

“The book is written for the ‘doers,’ the frontline workers in the collision repair and service industries who are out there every day running their shops and doing their best to lead their teams and businesses,” said Stuef. “It is a great read for anyone in the industry who is looking for some guidance on successful leadership techniques.”

Stuef said that while he was working as a regional manager in charge of running six collision shops, he realised how little managerial training was available for people looking to run a successful shop and decided to write a book. He has owned, operated and managed collision repair facilities over his 40-year career.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities to learn and grow as a leader,” said Stuef. “I saw a real need for leadership advice that catered to frontline workers, specifically in the body shop business. I’m the first to admit that I’ve made some mistakes and wanted to share what I have learned so I could save others from making some of the same mistakes.”

Stuef said he met Bradshaw, a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina and they soon appreciated a shared keen interest in human nature and in helping people tap into their inner purpose.

“Amy and I had a few inspired conversations and then decided we should write this book together. We both believe that anyone can be a great leader if they can inspire a team. Great success lies in team empowerment.”

In the book, the authors talk about the pitfalls of traditional leadership techniques and discuss the importance of understanding human behaviour and the science behind how the brain works.

“I truly believe that everyone has the potential for being a great leader but first, they need to understand human behaviour,” he said. “We share proven methods that help people learn to draw the best from those on the team and we provide information about the science behind motivation in a way that body shop guys like me can understand.”

The paperback and Kindle versions of the book can be purchased on Amazon and are also available for streaming on Audible.

John Stuef.


Renault Readies For New CEO Ahead Of Crucial Alliance Meeting

Renault may name a new CEO ahead of an important meeting in Japan this week to display that the deeply troubled alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors is moving past the Carlos Ghosn scandal, according to Bloomberg and Reuters.

The Renault board has approved Luca de Meo to become its new CEO, according to Le Parisien, but the newspaper did not say where it got the information and a spokesman for Renault declined to comment on the matter.

De Meo rose through the ranks at Volkswagen, ran its Spanish brand, SEAT, and has been considered to be the front-runner for months. The executive, who recently stepped down as chairman of SEAT, is “probably in talks with Renault,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess. Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has said an announcement could come within days, without confirming a name.

A year after Senard replaced Ghosn, who was arrested in 2018 in Tokyo on charges of financial misconduct, the Renault chairman is trying to draw a line under turmoil that nearly broke the alliance. Senard has said a series of measures will be unveiled at an alliance meeting at the end of the month to deepen operational ties between the manufacturers.

The board of the alliance will decide on new, common projects at a meeting this month, and the partnership is moving toward greater convergence of platforms and technology in the face of the massive investment needed to develop new cars, Senard said earlier this month.

Analysts say that in order to turn investor sentiment around, the firms need to achieve cost-saving joint engineering projects that have slowed since Ghosn’s departure.

“The alliance has taken a hit, but the alliance engineering team is still there,” said a source close to the alliance. “You cannot, from one day to the next, stop something that’s been embedded so deeply.”

Senard has said both sides are determined to make the partnership succeed, with the joint projects a major focus. One area of focus will be hybrid power systems, a field where the alliance has not effectively pooled its research and development efforts according to analysts. Each of the three members of the alliance has developed their own systems.

“That’s been among the sources of the friction,” said the source close to the alliance. “But now the three systems are there, we’ll need to use them in the most efficient way possible.”

Nissan will use the E-Tech hybrid system developed by Renault on the Juke SUV, Renault will use the e-Power series-hybrid system on its Kadjar model, specifically in Asia, while Mitsubishi is still using its own plug-in hybrid system on its Outlander, according to the same sources.

Renault owns 43 per cent of Nissan, with full voting rights, while Nissan holds a 15 per cent stake in Renault and lacks the ability to vote. Ghosn denied the Japanese charges and, at the end of last year, fled to Lebanon where he has mounted a media campaign to clear his name and criticise Renault and Nissan.

PPG Supports Australian Bushfires Relief Efforts

The PPG Foundation has announced an initiative to support the Australian bushfire relief effort, starting with a donation of US$50,000 (A$72,432) to the Australian Red Cross. The company has also pledged to match employee donations up to US$25,000 (A$36,193), making a total contribution of US$75,000 ($108,625).

PPG employees in Australia are working with retail partners to establish and support a long-term community rebuilding program for affected areas, while also hosting additional fundraisers at various PPG sites. In Australia, PPG has nearly 1000 employees working across two manufacturing sites, five sales offices, 12 automotive refinish branches and 49 paint store locations. Several local employees are volunteering in the firefighting efforts and PPG is providing paid time off for their services.

“Our thoughts are with our Australian colleagues and all of the people and wildlife of Australia as they face the devastating bushfires,” said Malesia Dunn, Executive Director, PPG Foundation, Global Corporate Social Responsibility. “We truly are one, global PPG community and lend our support through these relief efforts.”

Brand Finance Global 500 Names Ferrari As The Strongest Brand For Second Consecutive Year

Ferrari has been awarded the title of the world’s strongest brand for the second consecutive year by Brand Finance, an international independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. With a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 94.1 out of 100, Ferrari received the top rank with an AAA+ rating.

Presented during the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Brand Finance Global 500 2020 report calculates the value of the Ferrari brand at A$13.3 billion with a year on year growth of 9 per cent, boosted by positive sales and overall brand strength.

Brand Finance determines brand value by estimating the net economic benefit to the brand owner of licensing the trademark on the open market. It measures brand strength on the basis of the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures compared to its competitors.

CIECA Announces 2020 Board Of Trustees Officers

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) held a board meeting in California on 15 January to elect four new officers to the Board of Trustees for 2020.

Kim DeVallance Caron, Enterprise Holdings, was elected Chairwoman; Jeff Schroder,, Vice Chair; Michael Naoom, Safelite Solutions, Treasurer; and Greg Best, California Casualty Management Company was elected Secretary.

A more detailed biography of the Board of Trustees officers can be found on the CIECA website here. The officers will serve on CIECA’s Executive Committee, which oversees business matters throughout the year and plans the agenda for CIECA’s board meetings.

“For the past 25 years, CIECA has served the collision repair ecosystem by creating electronic communication standards that allow the industry to be more efficient,” said DeVallance Caron. “With cars becoming increasingly complex, the industry is embarking on new ways to handle claims. As a result, data will need to be communicated and CIECA will help meet this need.”

DeVallance Caron said that it’s important that all segments of the industry continue to work together to adapt to the new technology being introduced. She added that she encourages all segments of the industry to join a CIECA committee, learn more about the organisation and help shape the future.

CIECA develops electronic standards, codes and standard messages, and provides implementation guides to make the industry more efficient. All standards are developed by members. CIECA membership is open to the collision repair and property restoration industries, along with related segments: repairers, insurers, OEMs, parts and material suppliers, information and software providers, car rental companies, towing companies, salvage and recycled parts providers, auto glass replacement facilities, subrogation providers, general service providers and property restoration providers. CIECA’s goals are to deliver benefits to all participants through reduced development and support costs, lower cost of implementation, reduced barrier to entry and faster development times.

INAPA 2020 Less Than Two Months Away

Shows organisers are calling for visitors to attend the upcoming INAPA 2020 in Jakarta, which is billing itself as ASEAN’s largest and most influential trade show for the automotive industry. It takes place from 18-20 March 2020 at JIExpo, Kemayoran, Jakarta.

The show will be the co-location for some of the region’s leading automotive events, including EV Indonesia 2020, IIBT 2020 (Bus, Coach, Truck, Trailer), Tyre Indonesia 2020, Lube Indonesia 2020, Con-Mine 2020 and INABIKE 2020. Organisers say the expo will return to present a more powerful and international platform as Indonesia’s “unparalleled, one-stop for the automotive platform”.

The 11th edition of INAPA 2020 will present over 1000 exhibiting companies and organisers expect at least 25,000 trade visitors to attend over three days, with organisers saying that the show is a great opportunity to expand your business and network with regional and international automotive aftermarket buyers, automobile, importers, distributors and automotive supply chain.

Highlighted sections include:

  • Automotive Parts & System
  • Electronics Vehicle, Parts and Accessories
  • Motorbike, Parts and Accessories
  • Commercial Vehicle and Parts (Truck, Bus, Forklift, Heavy Equipment)
  • Vehicle Equipment, Tool and Fastener
  • Tyre, Wheel and Rubber
  • Lubricant, Oil and Grease

For more information, visit

JLR Developing Shape-Shifting Seat

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a new shape-shifting seat, designed to improve customer wellbeing, that will target health risks of sitting down for too long.

The seat uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you’re walking and may eventually be tailored to each individual driver and passenger.

Over a quarter of people worldwide (around 1.4 billion) are leading increasingly stationary lifestyles which can shorten muscles in the legs, hips and gluteals, causing back pain and increasing the chance of injury from falls or strains.

“The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects,” said Dr Steve Iley, JLR Chief Medical Officer. “We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe.”

Dr Iley has also issued advice on how to adjust your seat to ensure the perfect driving position. He said to remove bulky items in your pocket, note your shoulder positioning, ensure your spine and pelvis are straight, and support your thighs to reduce pressure points.

Axalta Services Announces Courses For 2020

Covering a range of topics, Axalta Services says the courses contained within its 2020 training schedule provide participants with valuable insights into the latest tools, techniques and methodologies needed to increase throughput and decrease cycle times within the body repair process.

The schedule kicks off this month with the first course named Pre-Lean. Axalta Services says attendees begin by going back to basics as they are re-introduced to ‘lean’ thinking in the collision repair industry. The course lays the foundations for a successful lean transformation and emphasises the need for basic processes to be in place before a business embarks on a ‘lean journey’.

According to the company, blueprinting, optimum parts management and solid production controls are important components of a lean system and understanding their effects on cycle times during the course prompts participants to focus their thinking.

“In the past, many of us have been guilty of trying to run before we can walk. This course recognises that and takes us back a step,” said Axalta Services Manager, Robin Taylor.

Axalta’s training alliance with I-CAR means that upon completion of any Axalta Services course, participants will be awarded credit that can be applied towards the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals and Platinum Individual designations, or be used to meet role-relevant annual training requirements. Each credit point earned will be submitted to I-CAR and recorded on the participant’s personal training record.

To view the training schedule, visit