Key Takeaways from the 2023 GVA Gathering

In a remarkable gathering of industry leaders, the 2023 annual members’ meeting of the Gesamtverband Autoteile-Handel e.V. (GVA) in Hanover brought together 350 top decision-makers from the independent automotive parts trade, the automotive parts industry, and providers of technical information. This event, marked by a celebratory dinner on November 7th, fostered a dynamic discussion about the current state of the industry and the future direction of the association.

Industry stability and growth

Thomas Vollmar, President of GVA, shared some encouraging news during the event. The independent automotive market (IAM) is showing remarkable stability, with a reported growth of 10 to 11 percent this year. Even after adjusting for inflation, this indicates a real growth of 4 to 5 percent, a positive sign for the industry’s health and future prospects.

Business climate and sales trends

The GVA’s recent business climate index mirrors this optimism. A significant majority of members, around 82 percent, reported an increase in sales in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Moreover, both parts manufacturers and distributors are hopeful, with 78 percent expecting a positive outcome for the entire year. This sentiment extends into 2024, though there are concerns among some suppliers about current challenges.

Economic concerns and competitive pressure

Despite the positive outlook, the difficult general economic conditions are a source of concern for many in the IAM. Vollmar emphasized the need for the industry to regain its competitive edge, pointing to growth problems that extend beyond mere economic slowdown. He urged for swift improvements in economic conditions to alleviate these concerns.

Mixed Sentiments among members

The general sentiment among GVA members, however, is mixed. Only a small percentage view the overall situation as good, while a majority have a moderate view, and a significant portion sees it as poor. This is reflected in the more pessimistic forecast for the last quarter of 2023, indicating a notable shift in perspective.


The 2023 GVA annual meeting was not just a platform for celebrating achievements but also a critical juncture for reflecting on the challenges and opportunities ahead. While growth and optimism prevail in certain areas, the need for vigilance and strategic planning is clear, given the complex economic backdrop. As the industry navigates these uncertain times, the insights shared at this year’s meeting will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping its future.

Christian Müller, Vice President Marketing TecAlliance