AAIW and AAPEX: More buyers attended in 2014 than ever before

Buyer attendance at the 2014 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW) in Las Vegas increased in key target buyer categories identified by the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX), with independent repair garages posting the largest growth at 12%.

Attendance also increased in AAPEX’s target buyer categories of auto retailers, warehouse distributors (WD) - heavy-duty truck, and tool and equipment dealers.

AAPEX and the SEMA Show make up AAIW.

Several metrics show the growth of AAIA versus the prior year:

* The number of domestic buyers was up more than 2,000 from last year for a total of 46,267 for AAIW.

* International buyers grew to 15,243. Exhibitors and buyers attended from 141 foreign countries.

* AAPEX exhibitors totaled 2,364 with 5,343 booths. This year, AAPEX had 580 new exhibitors.

* Education and professional development continued to expand this year with 3,348 industry professionals attending 50 sessions offered through AAPEXedu.

AAPEX represents the $477 billion global aftermarket auto parts industry, and is co-owned by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).

“AAPEX 2014 was one of the best, if not the best AAPEX ever, for so many reasons,” says Kathleen Schmatz, CEO and president of the Auto Care Association.

“From the quantity and quality of key attendees and record participation at education sessions to hitting a homerun with the new general session featuring Steve Forbes and other successful activities, the AAPEX experience for was an industry-wide win. We are already working exciting new plans and enhancements for AAPEX 2015.”

Positive feedback regarding the outstanding quality of educational and business meetings and the number of genuine new-business leads demonstrates that AAPEX 2014 was a valuable catalyst to help attendees and exhibitors alike in growing their business, according to Bill Long, president and chief operating officer of AASA.

“The AAPEXedu sessions were expanded to meet the increasing need of education and technical training within our industry. Most notable was the Service Professionals Program, sponsored by MAHLE Service Solutions, which included ‘in-booth’ demonstrations on the latest product, services and repair techniques by full service aftermarket suppliers.”

The AAPEX dates for 2015: Education - Monday, Nov. 2 through Thursday, Nov. 5; Exhibits - Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Nov. 5.

AAPEX is held at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.

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