The global automotive aftermarket united at AAPEX 2023 for a sold-out show that included nearly 2,600 manufacturers and suppliers displaying thousands of products, innovations and technologies in the more than $1.8 trillion industry.
Exhibiting companies occupied 5,146 booths and represented 42 countries.
Reflecting on Day 1 of the show, AAPEX exhibitor Ivonne Forsthoefel of the Nuadi Group said, “The vibe this year is phenomenal … the halls were packed which is a great indication of the volume of people we’ll see this year.”
AAPEX 2023 drew 46,551 registered targeted buyers, including service and repair professionals, auto parts retailers and warehouse distributors who came ready to do business, network and learn new skills with the shared goal of keeping the world’s 1.5 billion vehicles on the road.
Buyers represented 130 countries, a 13% increase over last year’s event. More than 150,000 industry professionals were in Las Vegas during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week.
“Coming to the AAPEX show really puts everybody in one room. It’s a really good opportunity to expand our business,” said attendee Mike Johnson of J5 Custom.
Throughout the event, attendees were encouraged to chart their futures and embrace the changes in the industry, including the increased adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that is transforming the automotive aftermarket and will have implications for parts manufacturers, service providers and warehouse distributors.
This year’s new EV Experience highlighted products on the show floor and included 20 sessions to prepare attendees with the essential skills to service and repair these vehicles. In addition, the Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers discussed the findings of their 2023 Joint EV Trends and Outlook Forecast before a packed, standing-room-only crowd.
The event offered more than 100 training sessions and the one-of-a-kind Joe’s Garage, an entire floor of The Venetian Expo dedicated to service and repair professionals. The fully equipped 10-bay shop within Joe’s Garage provided hands-on training and product and equipment demos on vehicle technologies, including advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) calibration, as well as shop-management software to enhance productivity.
New this year, the Service Bay was used to repair and service a 2013 Ford Edge that was gifted to a well-deserving veteran through the Progressive Keys to Progress Veteran Vehicle Giveaway Program.
A Magic(al) Keynote
This year’s keynote session included an inspirational message on winning by NBA legend-turned-businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
“You have to understand your customer base and overdeliver to them,” Johnson told attendees. “Then they become your brand ambassadors. When you treat your customer well, they’re going to tell 100 people. They’re going to tell everybody their car is running well because you took care of them.”
His speech was preceded by a presentation on the automotive aftermarket by Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, and Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. Their message focused on Right to Repair, one of the most critical challenges facing the automotive aftermarket, and how it is vital to ensuring a prosperous future for the industry. For information, visit repairact.com.
“AAPEX is really mind-expanding,” said attendee William Brown of Grease Monkey International. “… Every year, there’s new things, new innovations and new opportunities.”
AAPEX also continued to build on its commitment to lessen the event’s impact on the environment by implementing new initiatives including the Exhibitor Sustainability Pledge. More than 43 exhibiting companies took the pledge, taking actionable steps to decrease their carbon footprint, divert waste from landfills, conserve water and energy and make more sustainable procurement choices.
AAPEX 2023 took place Tuesday, Oct. 31, through Thursday, Nov. 2, at The Venetian Expo in Las Vegas.
AAPEX 2024 will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 7. In addition to taking place at The Venetian Expo, the 2024 event will expand into Caesars Forum in Las Vegas to accommodate exhibitor growth.
Space applications for exhibiting companies will be available starting Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. Housing is already open and attendee registration will open in early May 2024.