The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) hosted leaders from the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI), the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Embassy of Malaysia this week at the AAIA office in Bethesda, Md.
Discussions covered challenges facing the global auto care industry and potential opportunities for mutual cooperation to promote opportunities for AAIA members in the Malaysian market.
During the half-day meeting, AAIA staff provided an overview of its various programs and initiatives and its expanding role in helping its members compete in the global marketplace. As a result of the meeting, AAIA and MAI have agreed to work together on several initiatives aimed at developing the Malaysian aftermarket and making it easier for AAIA members to do business there.
MAI is the agency within MITI that coordinates the development of the Malaysian automotive industry. The Malaysian government has recently announced a New Automotive Policy for 2014 that includes an emphasis on developing the Malaysian aftermarket. Specific areas identified for continued cooperation include:
Creating a consumer education campaign similar to the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign;
Collecting valuable market intelligence on the Malaysian automotive market for distribution to AAIA members interested in doing business there; and
Exploring standards development in e-commerce and technology to help lower the cost of doing business and eliminate a barrier to international trade with Malaysia.
“AAIA members operate in a competitive global marketplace, so we are always looking for ways to help identify new business partners and markets for our members’ products and services,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO, AAIA. “An effective way to do that is to work with international partners like MAI to identify areas for mutual cooperation to the benefit of our membership.”
“We are seriously looking to develop our aftermarket and transform it to international standards,” said Madani Sahari, CEO, MAI. “We believe that the adoption of existing good practices such as those in the U.S. would benefit Malaysia and henceforth bring positive changes faster. We look forward to collaborating with AAIA for the mutual benefit of both nations.”