AAPEX 2022 kicked off on Nov. 1 with a timely keynote discussion featuring political icon James Carville, and political strategist Karl Rove, who provided their points and counterpoints on the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
The discussion was moderated by Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), and Lisa Foshee, SVP, government affairs & general counsel for the Auto Care Association.
Carville and Rove touched on what will likely drive election results, the races to watch and what it will mean to businesses. The two discussed the direction of the country, the continued need for bipartisan support to get things done, as well as the impact of the economy and social issues on the election.
When asked what AAPEX attendees should do to work with elected officials, both Rove and Carville encouraged them to show up, get involved and contribute to their respective association PACs. Both speakers reiterated the need for attendees to contact their representatives and suggested inviting elected officials to their business to better understand the scope of the industry.
The keynote discussion was preceded by a State of the Aftermarket presentation by Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, and Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association.
“We are back and better than ever,” said Hanvey. “Last year was our first venture back in person and we’re happy to report this year, we are at 94% of attendance of a normal year. Thank you to our friends at the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance for bringing 2,000 of their best and brightest service providers, and Advance CARQUEST professionals for bringing over 900. Wow. Unbelievable.”
McCarthy added: “Because of what you do – all of you – our industry was declared essential in 2020. And because of our resilience, we were still growing strong even coming out of the pandemic. And because of our industry’s dedication for keeping drivers on the road safe, and for longer, we are looking forward to a bright future.”
AAPEX represents the more than $1.8 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry and historically features 2,500 exhibiting companies that display innovative products, services and technologies that keep the world’s 1.5 billion vehicles on the road. AAPEX also provides advanced technical and business management training for professionals to maintain excellence and take their businesses to the next level. Industry buyers include automotive service and repair professionals, auto parts retailers, independent warehouse distributors, program groups, service chains, automotive dealers, fleet buyers and engine builders.
AAPEX recently was ranked as one of the top U.S. trade shows in 2021 by Trade Show Executive.
AAPEX is a trade-only event and is closed to the general public.