Last week executives from Motor and Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) member companies gathered in Chicago to address opportunities and threats facing the remanufacturing industry. One topic that highlighted the discussion involved protecting consumer choice, as related to aftermarket access to software-enabled vehicle technologies.
Featuring executives from Dorman Products, Electronic Remanufacturing Company, AASA and MEMA, the panel discussed how vehicle manufacturers, through the use of emerging technologies, are attempting to limit access to vital computer code necessary to develop and repair complex electronic parts, MERA says.
As noted by AAA of New Jersey, “Increasingly, vehicle manufacturers are restricting access to repair codes and/or are charging for the necessary information. This locks independent repair shops out of the process, forcing consumers to take their vehicles to dealers for repair and maintenance.”
With the average vehicle today hosting 60 to 100 sensors, in addition to other electronic parts, this approach could severely impact remanufacturing businesses. In addition, MERA says as more components are linked to vehicle control systems via microprocessors, the ability to remanufacture more traditional mechanical parts could be hampered in the future.
The meeting agenda also included a tour of an ETE Reman facility in Milwaukee, Wis., a comprehensive automotive and commercial vehicle industry outlook by IHS, and an overview of recent M&A activity and how remanufacturers can best perform due diligence on the buy- or sell-side of a transaction. The meeting concluded with a networking event at a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field.