Keeping the engines turning

In 2022 we have the pleasure of introducing you to our eight national directors from each of the RMI associations, starting with Attie Serfontein, National Director of the Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association (ARA).

Can you tell us exactly what the core purpose of ARA is?

ARA represents some 450 member-businesses in the remanufacturing trade-sector, and this includes component remanufacturers of safety critical components, inclusive of, but not limited to vehicle cooling, turbocharger, driveline and braking systems.

We accredit automotive engineers who machine and remanufacture engine components by way of expert service rendering, ultimately rebuilding engines to their original specifications, as well as specialists in the repair, servicing and remanufacturing of diesel fuel injection systems, fitted to commercial vehicles, earth moving equipment, gensets and passenger vehicles.

How long have you been at the RMI and how long have you been heading up ARA ?

I started my career with the RMI back in 2014 as a Consumer Affairs Specialist at the then Northern Regional office based in Pretoria. I was appointed National Associational Director in 2017 for the Engine Remanufacturers’ Association (ERA), the South African Diesel Fuel Injection Association (SADFIA), and the Automotive Components Remanufacturers’ Association (ACRA).

The aforementioned Associations subsequently amalgamated under one new brand, the Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association (ARA).

What value do you think an association like ARA adds to RMI ?

Dedicated to a specific sub-sector within the Automotive Aftermarket ARA ensures the automotive remanufacturing fraternity stays current and sustainable in terms of business continuity and longevity.

How do you see the inter-relationship between RMI and its Associations?

I see it as a symbiotic relationship between RMI and its constituent Associations with a key focus on member-business benefits and better trade-conditions for its membership.

If you could change anything what would it be?

To do away with ‘white box’ products and only use part suppliers that carry a warranty, supporting their product, inclusive of consequential damage.

What has been the most challenging thing you have had to deal with over the last two years?

The financial impact of the pandemic on our member businesses.

What is your advice to young people wanting to enter the sector?

Within the automotive aftermarket, and its various sub-sectors there are so many exciting opportunities and so much technological change and innovation happening. This is a dynamically evolving industry for young people passionate about the sector.

When you are not at work what, do you enjoy doing?

I love physical exercise, specifically weight, strength and endurance training and also enjoy deep-sea fishing.

What character trait do you admire most in a person?

Resilience and optimism. Out of all the character traits, resilience and optimism combined make for a perfect marriage.

Attie Serfontein, National Director of the Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association (ARA ) sitting in a Tesla at a Tesla Dealership in Amsterdam, during ARA s visit to the European Union.