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News and highlights from around the automotive world in July 2020


The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has now been advocating for and supporting the industry it represents for 40 years. 

As well as promoting opportunities for the aftermarket, the AAAA assists workshops and businesses in overcoming the myriad hurdles and challenges that the aftermarket business can present. It also remains the only national member-owned independent organisation for the Australian automotive aftermarket. 

“This year is a special milestone for the AAAA and one we are very proud of,” said AAAA CEO Stuart Charity

“For 40 years, and through the support of our members, we have acted in the best interest of the industry and continuously affected positive change.”

The non-profit organisation was established in 1980 by a group of businesses that were concerned with regulatory developments in the aftermarket sector.

Nowadays, the AAAA represents 2250 companies – from small independent workshops through to large multi-national corporations. 

“As time has marched on, the AAAA has grown and evolved as an organisation,” said Charity. “We have to continually adapt to ensure we have the strength, knowledge and resources to effectively represent our members, their customers and the broader industry.”

In particular, in recent times the Choice of Repairer campaign championed by the AAAA proved pivotal in the government’s decision to introduce a mandatory data-sharing law. This will grant independent workshops access to much-needed servicing and repair data, levelling the playing field between dealers and independents.

Prior to COVID-19, AAAA had planned to celebrate its 40th anniversary throughout the year with events including a special gala dinner at Autocare 2020 in October.


The Automechanika Frankfurt trade show will now take place in September 2021, instead of later this year.

Originally, the automotive aftermarket show – which takes place at Messe Frankfurt – was due to start on 8 September. However, measures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic now mean that is no longer feasible. 

This is in part because visitors to the event come from over 180 countries, which presents myriad travel, isolation and tracking-related issues. As a result, after discussions with exhibitors, representatives and other partners, the event has been rescheduled to 14-18 September 2021.

“Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of everyone – exhibitors and visitors alike – taking part in the event,” said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt. 

“With waves of the pandemic moving around the globe and many countries not expecting it to peak until the summer, I am certain that the decision is to postpone.”


Germany’s International Motor Show is set to take place in Munich from 2021, instead of its long-standing and historic automotive base of Frankfurt. 

The VDA, which organises the show – known as the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Germany – had been battling myriad challenges and decreasing attendance at the Messe Frankfurt site.  

An increasing focus on mobility concepts and advanced technologies at the show also made a more modern, accessible and forward-looking location appealing. 

Shortlisted contenders included Berlin and Hamburg but Munich’s attractive inner-city event locations and priority lanes for eco-friendly vehicles helped secure it the contract to host the IAA.


Automotive supplier Marelli has announced a strategic partnership with Transphorm, which specialises in advanced semiconductors for power systems. 

Transphorm, based in California, is recognised as the leading designer and producer of gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors – which offer higher efficiency, increased power density and lower costs than conventional silicon-based semiconductors. 

Access to this expertise will allow Marelli to design and produce more effective chargers, inverters and power converters for hybrid and electric vehicles. Transphorm will collaborate exclusively with Marelli for two years, during which its technology will also be used to bolster the development of motorsport-oriented systems. As a result, Marelli could secure itself a significant foothold in a range of burgeoning sectors. 

Joachim Fetzer, CEO of Marelli’s electric powertrain division, said: “This partnership allows us to work with the Transphorm team to shape and improve products that will ultimately ensure improved performance, efficiency of power electronics and ultimately lower the cost of electric vehicles.”

Marelli was established in October 2019 when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sold Italian parts supplier Magneti Marelli to Japanese automotive supplier Calsonic Kansei. The deal was reportedly worth $6.2 billion ($A9.7 billion) and resulted in the creation of the seventh largest global independent automotive supplier. 

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