“Over the course of the two events, AAAS staff and members met with more than two dozen legislators and executive branch members to discuss important automotive aftermarket issues,” said Matt Ward, AAAS director of government relations.
In Georgia and Florida alone, the automotive aftermarket industry has a combined economic impact of more than $33 billion and accounts for mroe than 200,000 jobs, according to Ward.
“There is power in numbers," Ward said. "When there is a collective effort to reach a goal, it is much easier to reach that goal."
Ward said the aftermarket industry is doing a fantastic job of aligning state, regional and national associations to deliver a unified message across the country.
"We want to ensure that vehicle owners have access to quality and affordable parts and service and protect an industry that employs over 4.7 million people nationwide,” Ward said.
On Feb. 5, a group of association members and staff traveled to Atlanta to meet with members of the state's general assembly and discuss the aftermarket industry and its challenges.
A group visited Tallahassee on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 for the same purpose.
This year’s discussions centered on the economic impact of the aftermarket and the importance of maintaining a strong and competitive industry.
Throughout the years AAAS members have made these visits, they have established relationships with their state legislators.
“Many of the participants enjoy attending these events every year, and we can’t thank them enough for understanding the importance of advocating for a strong industry,” Ward said. “New participants indicated they would be back next year.”
“The purpose of these events is to maintain existing and create new relationships with elected officials while also educating them about who we are, what we do and why what we do is important," Ward said.
"It is always a great experience advocating on behalf of the industry, and this year was no different," he said. "I would encourage anyone to take advantage of any opportunities to be an industry advocate. If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re on the table.”
AAAS is looking forward to its next Capitol Day event, April 15 in Montgomery, AL.
"Please consider becoming a member today to support AAAS and our legislative advocacy efforts," Ward encouraged the industry.
For more information on AAAS, visit aaas.us.