Our Past

The association was founded in 1904 as the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association (APAA). At the time, the association primarily represented aftermarket suppliers and focused on issues related to product quality and safety.

In 1918, the name was changed to MAMA, the Motor Accessories & Manufacturers Association. 

In 1953, the association changed its name to the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) to reflect its expanding role in representing both aftermarket and original equipment suppliers.

Over the years, MEMA has played a key role in shaping the automotive industry. The association has been involved in the development of many important safety, environmental, and other regulations impacting vehicle suppliers, including USMCA, fuel efficiency and emissions, chemicals, labor, sustainability, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, and tariffs. 

Today, MEMA continues to represent the interests of its members in the automotive aftermarket. The association works to promote innovation and competitiveness in the industry, as well as to advocate for policies that support growth and job creation in the United States.

Our Present

We serve an industry moving at the speed of clear highway traffic. We live in a time of monumental technological advances. We’re proud of being the largest and longest-serving trade association representing vehicle component manufacturers in North America, but we’re also focused on a mission that’s always looking forward.

In 2023, the association changed its name to MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association to create a stronger, more unified organization that can better serve and represent constituents. We also restructured into two groups: MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Group and MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers Group.

Our Future

More than 1,000 members trust us to be their voice, their advocate, and a networking hub for the people and issues of their industry.

Here’s where we’re headed: The restructure will give members greater access to leadership, programming, and influence in Washington D.C . It will help support a growing, profitable, influential vehicle supplier industry. It will heighten our focus, strengthen our efforts, and solidify our connections.

Here’s what hasn’t changed: Our mission, vision, and dedication to our members.

MEMA: A long history. And history in the making.

Collage of MEMA History
From the Archives: Photos and documents from throughout MEMA's history.