Every fall Las Vegas becomes the center of the universe for the automotive aftermarket industry. The AAPEX show immediately precedes the SEMA show and at the same time, a half dozen industry organizations hold their own conventions.
Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) is a three-day event held at the Sands Expo every October. The 2017 show featured innovative products, services and technologies from over 2,200 automotive aftermarket providers. Nearly 158,000 buyers from 40 countries had a chance to see, network with, and strike deals with, industry leading suppliers from around the world.
Globally, the automotive aftermarket parts business is a $740 billion-dollar industry. If you are looking for the newest offerings in products like automotive lighting systems, sound moderators, cooling systems, friction and brake circuits, engine and transmission parts, gear systems, automotive hand tools, and supporting services, then the AAPEX show is a must see for you.
Exciting New Auto Products for 2017
AAPEX 2017 had more than its fair share of new product launches on display. Who is better qualified to judge the best of the new stuff? How about the people who are responsible for buying product for distributes and retailers?
Each year the show invites attendees to peruse the New Product Showcase and then vote for their favorites in eight different categories. This year’s winners are:
- Accessories & General Merchandise: Armor All Protective Mats - RPM Drymate, Oil Spill Mat,
- Appearance Chemicals & Car Care: Gold Eagle Co., 303 Metal Polish
- Automotive Lighting: Tiger Accessory Group, 24" LED Light Bar Kit with Remote
- Chemicals, Lubricants & Filters: J-B Weld Company, J-B Weld Plastic Bonde
- Hard Parts: Federal-Mogul Motorparts, MOOG Complete Knuckle Assembly
- Safety: Remington Industries, Stryder UX Ratchet Straps
- Technology: Fuse5 Automotive Software, Fuse5 Automotive Software
- Tool & Equipment: ITW Global Brands, Slime Cordless Inflator
Winning this competition routinely translates into a successful sales launch for the product proving once again the importance of participating in the AAPEX show.
AAPEX Explores What’s Next in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry
When you have 150,000 aftermarket professionals in one place, you have an excellent opportunity to share ideas about where the industry is going and what will seriously influence it. This year “technology” was high on the list of concerns. Answering how technology will impact the aftermarket industry was the subject of many of the 50 seminars and demonstrations put on by the show.
Those technology oriented events included:
- The “Technology Intersection” discussed technologies not yet available in the automotive aftermarket industry. Technology leaders Schaeffler, Bosch and other exhibiting companies provided demos of what is to come.
- The 5th annual Technology and Telematics Forum addressed features and issues coming to a car near you in the immediate future including cyber security, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, vehicle data and OE technology.
- Giving exhibitors a chance to show off their products, the new “Let’s Tech” event provided a forum for technology-related products, tools and mobile apps. Exhibitors made pitches for their products in presentations of 20 minutes or less.
- AAPEXedu technology sessions focused on staying ahead of advanced vehicle technologies, technology standards, disruptive technologies, battery and start/stop technology. These included production issues as well as shop training.
Think about it for a moment. Mobility is changing at its core. Autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing, ride sharing, alternative powertrains, sustainability, 3D printing, V2V telematics, new regulations, and a shifting perception by the public about car ownership itself, are just a few of the issues that will have a profound effect on the automotive service and safety segment.
At the same time, current conditions could not be stronger for the industry:
- The average age of a vehicle in the U.S. is 11.7 years old.
- The fastest growing segment of that breakout is for cars older than 15 years.
- Average annual mileage is up, thanks to steady gas prices, low unemployment, and a small increase in disposable income.
This inventory is ripe for repair and replacement parts. It’s old and people are diving them more. Aftermarket products are by far and away preferred by consumers, repair shops, and insurance companies alike. Today is a good time to be in the business.
Tomorrow brings its own set of challenges. The organizers of AAPEX are committed to keeping the industry informed and providing a global forum for automotive aftermarket professionals. The 2017 show was great and the 2018 show (online registration is already available) promises to be just as successful!