Industry icon Al Gaspar passes away

Nov. 27, 2017
Prior to becoming president and CEO of AAIA (now the Auto Care Association) in 2000, he was president of the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association for five years after three terms as Chairman of the Board of APAA.

Al Gaspar, former president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), passed away at his home in Cave Creek, Ariz., Nov. 25, 2017.

"Al was one of the most respected and revered individuals in the business," said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. "When Al walked into a meeting room you knew it – he had a presence that commanded attention."

Prior to becoming president and CEO of AAIA (now the Auto Care Association) in 2000, he was president of the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association (APAA) for five years following an unprecedented three terms as Chairman of the Board of APAA. Previous aftermarket positions included executive vice president of McKay Chemical Company (a division of Blue Coral); vice president, consumer sales for Wynn Oil Company; and vice president, sales and marketing worldwide operations, Bardahl Manufacturing Corporation.

Among a number of milestone successes during Gaspar's more than 40-year career in the industry, two key achievements during his term as AAIA president were widely applauded. He spearheaded an ambitious fundraising campaign to build the $5 million state-of-the-art Aftermarket Education Center building at Northwood University in Midland, Mich.; and he lead several member companies in raising funds to research the viability of consumer education as a solution to capture a share of the $70 billion in unperformed vehicle maintenance, which validated the need for and creation of the Be Car Care Aware consumer education campaign.

His commitment to the industry began as a marketing student at San Jose College in California. As an undergraduate student, he served as national president of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), a national foundation to encourage high school and college students to pursue degrees in marketing and merchandising. Upon graduation, he began a 14-year career with Standard Oil Corporation in San Francisco.

Gaspar was a recipient of numerous recognitions, including the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame and AAIA Aftermarket Executive of the Year. He served on a number of committees and boards, including the board of trustees of the Automotive Foundation for the Aftermarket and vice president of the board for the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

Gaspar is survived by his wife Timmi, son Chris, daughter Angela and two grandchildren, Logan and Sienna.

Donations in Gaspar’s name can be made to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation.

Subscribe to Aftermarket Business World and receive articles like this every month….absolutely free. Click here.

About the Author

These are press releases approved by our Aftermarket Business World Editors

Sponsored Recommendations

Cam & Crank Sensor Training Series

Today's advanced engines depend on accurate and consistent information from cam and crank sensors for performance, fuel economy and emissions, and not all cam and crank sensors...

Buying Your Next Diagnostic Tablet

When you last invested in a diagnostic tablet for your shop, did you consider it a potential gateway to increased revenue? Probably not. It’s likely you viewed it as a necessary...

Access Carside OEM Repair Data with MOTOR TruSpeed

Now available on all Autel MaxiSYS Ultra Series tools, MOTOR TruSpeed Repair delivers expanded OEM service and repair data within days of being published by

ADAS Case Study: From 10 Calibrations a Month to Over 10 A Day

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!