The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) has been a staple in the industry for decades now. As the industry evolves and more lube shops expand their services to include other general maintenance procedures, the time has come for AOCA to rebrand as the Preventative Automotive Maintenance Association (PAMA).
President Matt Webb and Executive Director Christina Bauders share with National Oil and Lube News why now is the time to rebrand and what that process will look like for the association.
Time For a Change
Founded in 1987, the association has established itself as a resource for fast lube and oil change facilities but has never been exclusive to businesses only performing those services. Many of its members perform other maintenance alongside oil changes as well.
This was a driving factor for the decision to rebrand. The association has no plans to divert its original focus, but wanted to better represent the diverse membership it has.
“If you were a general repair shop or a tire shop, for example, you’d probably be deterred from joining–or potentially deterred–from joining our organization just because oil change isn’t your core business,” says Webb. “We’re hoping that we can appeal to a broader audience of automotive service providers with the new name.”
PAMA has had members that specialize in services other than oil changes since its inception, though the number of facilities performing solely oil change jobs is not as prevalent as it once was. Many oil change shops have decided to include other services to make a profit and remain relevant.
The organization has considered rebranding for the past decade. As the auto industry heads in new directions such as increasing electrification and the other services that many oil change facilities now offer, it felt like the perfect time to enact such a change.
With the organization’s members voting to move forward with a name change, a rebranding was put into motion.
Several options for new names were considered, but it was Preventative Automotive Maintenance Association that was chosen as the best reflection of the organization’s membership.
Having been known as AOCA since its creation, steps will be taken to ensure that PAMA remains recognized under its new name.
Alongside speaking with sources such as NOLN, members of PAMA are aware of the coming change, having already voted on it.
“Our members already voted for this change; they were all in support of it. So, they know it’s coming,” says Bauders.
In 2024, PAMA will also be asserting its new identity through events it plans to hold as part of the various programs it offers and advocacy for pressing regulatory concerns, such as Right to Repair, which PAMA feels is especially important now.
“The independent automotive world, you know, we really do need to band together and team up against some of this legislation and things like telematics,” Webb says. “The automotive manufacturers are battling to own the data.”
Representing Its Membership
At a time in which Webb feels is most important for independent businesses to come together to address the challenges facing them, a rebranding to encapsulate the variety of businesses that benefit from PAMA’s mission felt right.
Alongside its Right to Repair efforts, PAMA is unique in its involvement with things impacting the oil change industry such as waste oil and other hazardous wastes that are highly regulated in many states.
“We’ve been at the forefront of those issues, whereas (for) other automotive organizations ... it’s not as high of a priority for them,” says Webb.
Though the organization has a focus in oil change and fast lube shops, the programs and advocacy work PAMA offers benefits other automotive service providers that do oil changes, such as tire shops and muffler shops that perform oil change services in addition to their specialties.
PAMA members have access to programs such as its government affairs committee that releases weekly government affair updates, a management training course offered throughout the year in differing locations, and an online technician training course.
The organization also plans to roll out courses on electric vehicle maintenance procedures, with EV (electric vehicle) maintenance services recently highlighted at PAMA’s management course.
With PAMA looking to be on the forefront of EV maintenance, it’s another aspect that the rebranding helps encapsulate as part of its expansive services.
Oil change and fast lube facilities are the core of PAMA’s focus, but as this industry continues to expand its offerings to handling general maintenance such as fluids and filters, PAMA wants any company that could benefit from its services to feel welcome to join its organization.
“We feel that there’s huge value to other maintenance providers,” Webb states. “While they might not be an oil change-only facility, there’s huge value for them to be a part of our membership for that reason: for the advocacy and the training.”