CVSN Aftermarket Distribution Summit focuses on industry’s future

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The future of the trucking industry was the focus of this year’s 2011 CVSN Aftermarket Distribution Summit, held Sept. 18-21 in Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C. According to the CVSN, this year’s summit was a success. The highlight was the first-ever legislative summit that allowed members of the aftermarket community the chance to discuss key issues facing the industry in individual meetings with legislators.

Multiple topics were discussed, though the CVSN says the main issue raised in the meetings was the accessing of technical information during repair orders and the right to repair. Marc Karon, president of Total Truck Parts and new president of the CVSN board of directors, says the right-to-repair issue is the biggest obstacle facing the heavy-duty aftermarket in more than a decade.

Karon says it affects every independent distributor, service provider and truck owner in the marketplace, and could dramatically change the industry in the coming years. “It’s the biggest challenge we’re facing right now,” he says. “Who knows how much the industry could change in the next five or 10 years? This is a real issue, it’s a battle, and the summit gave us a chance to fight that battle for our industry.”

Karon says nearly 200 people attended this year’s summit to be part of the legislative discussions, marking the second year in a row the CVSN has set an attendance record. “I want to thank all of the distributors who were there and brought their people with them to participate,” he says. “Those guys get it, and I think we need to give them kudos for coming out and participating. I thank them for recognizing their responsibility to the market and the industry.”

Karon says he hopes to expand the offering even more in 2012 and 2013 to bring in more distributors. His goal is to double CVSN members and summit attendance by the end of his two-year leadership run. “We’re still growing the association and we need to grow it much more,” he says. “We need to have a unified voice.” Next year’s summit is set for Sept. 16-19, 2012, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. For more information, go to www.cvsn.org.