MEMA Acquires Shareholder Stake in TecDoc Joint Venture "OptiCat"

Company Now Majority Owned by Representatives of Aftermarket Parts Suppliers
(PresseBox) (Köln, ) The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) announced today that it has become a major shareholder in OptiCat LLC, the automotive aftermarket’s first supplier-owned electronic parts catalog data aggregator. Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), MEMA’s affiliate association that exclusively represents North American aftermarket parts manufacturers, will oversee MEMA’s ownership in OptiCat. MEMA joins U.S.-based MindQuest and Europe’s TecDoc Information Systems as OptiCat shareholders.

“MEMA, through its affiliate association AASA, is the only association dedicated to North American aftermarket suppliers, therefore an equity position in OptiCat is strategic,” said Bob McKenna, president and CEO of MEMA. “We believe, with our members’ support, OptiCat can implement a much more efficient data flow model for the aftermarket that will result in increased profitability for everyone. As a shareholder and board member, we will represent our members’ interests in this important technology initiative and improve the quality and timeliness of catalog and product information data.”

Aftermarket manufacturers are working together through OptiCat to deliver a consolidated data feed for reseller electronic parts catalog requirements. OptiCat’s data bank enables resellers to use a single source for timely and critical product and application information necessary for selling aftermarket parts.

“AASA’s equity stake is fundamental to the success of OptiCat’s electronic parts catalog data repository,” said Steve Handschuh, president and COO of AASA. “The model is without doubt the most efficient one to maximize sales and profits. We look forward to the opportunity to share this vision with our members and their customers, and we encourage all suppliers and their data receivers to join the OptiCat program.”

“There are too many redundant processes in today’s data distribution model resulting in lost sales and unnecessary costs for every channel member,” said Brad Duncan, general manager of OptiCat. “The North American data model is ‘many-to-many.’ Our shareholder, TecDoc, a supplier-owned data cooperative in Europe, has proven that a ‘one-to-many’ model is much more efficient. OptiCat will emulate TecDoc’s success.”

Uli Zehnpfenning, CEO of TecDoc stated, “Our success in Europe is a direct result of aftermarket suppliers taking direct control of the creation, validation and distribution of their intellectual data property. We welcome MEMA’s investment and look forward to working hand-in-hand through OptiCat to bring a similar model to North America.”

About OptiCat LLC.:
Founded in 2009 as a joint-venture between U.S.-based technology company MindQuest Inc. and Europe’s leading electronic data supplier, TecDoc Information Systems, OptiCat is a North American product information initiative of aftermarket parts manufacturers who are committed to streamlining the flow of product data necessary for selling auto parts worldwide. OptiCat accelerates and broadens product information distribution that is used in distributor electronic catalog databases. With the support of more than 600 data suppliers in the United States and Europe, OptiCat represents the largest aftermarket data supplier in the world. See www.opticat.net for more information.

About MEMA:
MEMA represents motor vehicle parts suppliers, the nation’s largest manufacturing sector, employing nearly 686,000 people across the country. Suppliers are also the largest manufacturing employer in eight states. These jobs contribute to 3.29 million private sector jobs across the country. Suppliers manufacture the parts and technology used in domestic production of new cars and trucks produced each year, and the aftermarket products necessary to repair and maintain more than 247 million vehicles on the road today.

MEMA supports its members through its three affiliate associations, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). MEMA represents more than 650 member companies with global motor vehicle parts sales exceeding $600 billion and 65 percent of North American automotive supplier sales. For more information on the motor vehicle parts supplier industry, please visit www.mema.org.

About AASA:
AASA (www.aftermarketsuppliers.org) exclusively serves suppliers of aftermarket components, tools and equipment, and related products. It is a recognized industry change agent – promoting a collaborative industry environment, providing a forum to address issues and serving as a valued resource for members. AASA is an affiliate association of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).

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