“We feel that the (tire) segment has been very underrepresented at AAPEX,” Bill Hanvey, Auto Care Association president and CEO, told Modern Tire Dealer.
That could change starting next year when AAPEX, otherwise known as the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo, incorporates tire industry exhibitors into a newly created space within it called Repair Shop HQ.
On Nov. 6, it was announced that tires will be part of AAPEX for the first time in 2020. (Click here for additional details.)
Potential participants will include “a combination” of tire companies and tire service-related entities, according to Mark Bogdansky, vice president of meetings and events for the Auto Care Association, which co-owns AAPEX, along with the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.
“We already have 80 to 90 tire accessory companies that are already at AAPEX,” he told Modern Tire Dealer. “We also have found that there are a lot of companies – both tire manufacturers and tire service suppliers – that are already doing business at AAPEX. We now have the opportunity to bring them in.”
While both Bogdansky and Hanvey declined to name specific tire industry participants, the latter revealed that “we’re having conversations with (companies) that have walked away from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. We’ve been approached for a number of years by tire and tire accessory companies that have wanted to be part of AAPEX.”
Hanvey said AAPEX is renewing its focus on the automotive repair shop owners and automotive service technician audiences. “We understand the majority of (car) repairs are first seen as a result of tire work. We understand the value that tires and tire work bring to our industry.”
When asked if he believes that adding tires to AAPEX will create a competitive situation with the SEMA Show, he replied that the inclusion of tires at AAPEX “will be complementary to what SEMA is doing on the tire side. We do have companies that exhibit at both already.”
Repair Shop HQ will be located in the lower level of the Sands Expo & Convention Center. Plans also include moving exhibitors who have traditionally occupied space in the lower level of the Sands Expo & Convention Center to Caesars Forum, a 550,000-square-foot conference hall that is under construction and will be connected to the Sands facility by a walkway.