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Last week I attended the AAIA Car Care Council—Women’s Board 2010 Winter Meeting at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. I was also honored to participate in a Hybrid Technology Panel to discuss the future of hybrid vehicles and how they will affect the automotive aftermarket industry.

Through the discussion, it became very clear that while hybrids are talked about a lot, they are still very, very young. As of July 1, 2009, hybrids represented less than 1% of the vehicles in operation. However, while currently not that significant, it is clearly viewed as the technology of the future. And, new technologies bring new challenges and that means new opportunities for the aftermarket.

The training available for technicians at this time is still very limited to only maintenance work and since these vehicles are still so new, it is too soon to determine what types of service issues they may be prone to.

All in all, the aftermarket needs to keep an eye on this small, but growing segment. Hybrids don’t appear to be going away, so we need to embrace and prepare for a very promising future.

Posted by Heidy Herrera, Account Representative, Aftermarket, Polk (01.26.10)

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