In Episode 6 of AMN Drivetime with Bill Babcox, Bill sits down for a chat with Larry Pavey, industry veteran and current CEO of the Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group). Having spent most of his life in the automotive aftermarket – from an early start delivering auto parts to his decades leading some of the industry’s most venerable brands – Pavey believes the aftermarket offers “tremendous opportunities for anybody who is willing to work hard.”
Like many, Pavey says it’s the people who make this industry one that so many stick with long-term. “It’s still a relationship business,” he says, “and that’s what I love about it.”
While he says he’s grateful for being able to keep those strong business relationships going virtually during past 18 months of the pandemic, he’s looking forward to meeting in-person again.
“If you’d have told me that we could go a year and travel very little and still be able to maintain our business and our relationships and communications, I would have been a little astonished, but we all figured it out and we made it through,” he said. “But I think it’s going to be great to get back together … it’s not going to be back to normal. I’m not sure that normal is ever going to be a word that we throw around again, but it is going to be great to get back and to see people, and to be able to talk with folks,” Pavey said when speaking about the upcoming Automotive Aftermarket Product Expo (AAPEX) and the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Conference in Las Vegas.
“A lot of times the collaboration that happens at industry events goes beyond just the business,” he added “It’s the opportunity to be able to talk to people socially, to catch up with families, et cetera. I think that’s all part of the fabric of our business. And, and that’s the thing that’s tough to do on a zoom call. So, we’re really excited about it.”
In addition to discussing the important mentors who guided Pavey over the years, the milestones he’s witnessed in the industry and current technology trends, the two also chatted about some of the memories that are made during big events like AAPEX and AWDA over the years. Listen in to this week’s episode and hear Pavey talk about one particularly memorable client dinner that involved one very long night in Vegas with Kool & The Gang.
You can view the full episode here.