The Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI) presented its first-ever Automaker (OE) Awards. The awards were created to achieve four goals, namely to:
- Inform automakers what the perception of them is by the industry relative to “OEs as partners.”
- Educate the ETI’s membership and industry on perceptions of the OEs by the industry.
- Recognize those OEs that clearly have better engagement with the tool, information and equipment providers that comprise the ETI membership.
- Provide all OEs with a “balance sheet” each can use to better measure their industry perception and participation.
“ETI considers itself as the liaison between the companies that build service equipment, tools and service information and the vehicle manufacturers,” noted Ben Johnson, the director of Product Management for Mitchell Repair Information Company LLC, and host of the OE Awards session. “It allows us to facilitate a dialogue that provides us with insights into what those new vehicles are going to be and can ensure we are delivering the right products to help the aftermarket service/repair industry support those new vehicles.”
The methodology used to determine the awards began with an 11 Point OEM Support Survey, which was sent to all ETI delegates, Each of the questions referenced unique criteria, and were pre-assigned to one of four awards. The ETI delegates were asked to rank the OE's, based on the criteria in each query. The delegates’ scored responses were then tabulated to determine rankings by criteria, and when grouped, overall award winners.
“The 11 survey questions containing the criteria (listed in the table) were chosen with the three specific awards and one overall award in mind,” Johnson shared. “The complete rankings for each criteria were shared earlier with automakers, and the ETI wanted to share the full results."
”For your convenience, the yellow-, orange- and blue-shaded criteria in the table reflect how they were used to determine three specific category awards and one overall award,” Johnson explained. “The green-shaded criteria in the table was relevant to all three specific awards, so it was used in all three categories. To determine the overall aggregate award, all of the color-shaded criteria were used. Of note, the nonshaded criteria at the bottom of the table addressed the emerging field of telematics. It was not used to determine any of this year’s awards. Rather, it was used to probe awareness and gather data, with a view toward having an inaugural telematics award category next year.”
Johnson then announced the inaugural winners of four awards:
- Toyota Motor Sales was chosen as “The OE Most Supportive of Scan Tool Companies.” Delegates appreciated Toyota for providing scan tool companies with good data at reasonable prices.
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was recognized as “The OE Most Supportive of Service Information Companies.” The voting delegates viewed Fiat Chrysler as best at providing service information companies with easy-to-consume content at reasonable prices.
- Toyota Motor Sales was ranked by delegates as “The OE Most Supportive of ETI Events.” This award recognized the value of information shared with attendees at ETI events, participation in scheduled private one-on-one meetings, being responsive to ETI member questions and more.
- Toyota Motor Sales also received ETI’s first ever “Annual Industry Recognition Award.” This award recognizes the automaker ranked highest overall by ETI member companies, as aggregated from all criteria rankings.
“All of us at Toyota really appreciate the recognition from ETI members and the awards we received,” stated David Stovall, manager of Diagnostics and Telematics at Toyota Motor Sales. “Ultimately, the support we provide as an automaker, wherever customers choose to get their vehicles serviced, matters. It’s what keeps them coming back.”
“ETI members have been long aware that automakers do support the automotive aftermarket," Johnson emphasized. “These awards allow us to recognize, publicize and help educate others about OEM efforts to support customers when cars roll off the assembly line, wherever they choose to have them serviced.”
“The Equipment and Tool Institute values our relationship with the automakers and understands the importance of working together to better the industry,” noted Jessie Korosec, ETI Marketing and Events Manager. “We feel it is important to recognize the automakers that make significant efforts to supply our member companies and the aftermarket with access to complete information to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes are achieved. It’s also vital to make sure that our members’ voices are being heard so that we can better serve them and act as a conduit to industry partners to ensure that vehicles are being repaired safely and correctly which, in turn, influences customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.”