SCHAUMBURG, Ill. More than 1,000 technicians attended at the Auto-Wares Tech Expo, held here in Schaumburg, the second such educational event in a little over a month for the company.
Another Tech Expo was held in mid-February in Grand Rapids, Mich., which brought together more than 2,450 service technicians, parts store owners and other automotive aftermarket professionals. Auto-Wares has put on 24 Tech Expo events in the past 17 years.
“During that time period, we have filled more than 40,000 seats for training technicians,” said Fred Bunting, chairman of the board of Auto-Wares, a member of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. “That’s huge.”
Bunting addressed the topic of the rebranding of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association as the “Auto Care Association. “We’ve got a new name going into 2014,” he said.
More than 275 manufacturers and vendors were on-hand for a two-day trade show held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel. Among the topics discussed Friday during the company’s Membership Day were marketing plans for 2014; advances in information and technology; vendor presentations by Standard Motor Products, WIX Filters, Federal-Mogul and Tenneco.
Forty-three trainers were on-hand to teach a variety of seminars on topics such as creative leadership; managing customer expectations; and getting customers to upsell themselves; as well as technical seminars like control modules and network operation; diagnosing and repairing catalyst and oxygen monitor failures.
Among the highlights of the weekend, was discussion of the Delphi Connected Car telematics technology, which was jointly developed by Auto-Wares and Delphi for use in more than 1,000 parts stores and certified service centers throughout Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana. Delphi Connected Car delivers remote vehicle diagnosis, as well as vehicle health monitoring to its network members, according to Auto-Wares.
Jon Owens, VP sales and market development for the Alliance, spoke Friday about the benefits of participating in the National Service Dealer Advisory Council, for which he is chairman. The primary goals of council involvement is to trade best practices, drive car count when service shops need it most and help shops sell more jobs.