The Auto Care Association springs forward

Posted on April 25, 2014

Spring is officially here! Yes, the 2014 spring equinox (vernal equinox to those of you outside the Northern Hemisphere) began on March 20 at 12:57 p.m EST.

But with the launch of the Auto Care Association (ACA) comes another rebirth -- of the former Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.

Appropriately, the name change became official at a special luncheon celebration during the association’s Spring Leadership Days in Huntington Beach, Calif., on April 24. CEO and President Kathleen Schmatz has led the rebranding efforts for more than a year and a half.

"The launch of the new brand comes at a key moment for the auto care industry, and we aim to use the momentum generated by the rebrand to build on our work across the industry,” she says. “Our new brand will better enable us to champion for the auto care industry with state and national policymakers since it articulates upfront the scope and value of the work we deliver."

The rebranding endeavor was based on research findings from interviews, meetings and focus groups with industry thought leaders, consumers, the media, policymakers and professionals in the education and business communities.

“Our government affairs team will capitalize on our clearer and more memorable messaging so they spend less time explaining who we are and more time focusing on the issues important to our industry and our members,” says Schmatz.

“For consumers, our new brand will help ensure they fully understand the quality auto care they can receive from our members. We will continue to provide information about the importance of vehicle maintenance and care through the ‘Be Car Care Aware’ consumer education campaign."

Based in Bethesda, Md., the ACA has a membership of more than 2,000 companies representing approximately 150,000 independent businesses that manufacture, distribute and sell motor vehicle parts, accessories, tools, equipment, materials, supplies and perform vehicle service and repair.

For more information, visit

Related Topics: AAIA, ACA, Associations, Government affairs, Kathleen Schmatz

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Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.
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