The Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo, co-located with the Collision Repair Expo has returned in spectacular fashion, proving to be a milestone event for the aftermarket industry as it launches into a new era.
Across three days 7 – 9 April, thousands of trade visitors travelled from across Australia and New Zealand to experience all that the country’s premier industry event had to offer. For many, it was the first chance to connect and network in person in nearly three years. And for the first time, Expo-Saturday saw the public join trade visitors to experience the best of Australia’s $25 billion aftermarket industry.
“The Auto Aftermarket & Collision Repair Expo exceeded our expectations. There was an incredible buzz across the Expo having the industry back together. The quality and variety of exhibitors was exceptional and to see the enthusiasm of trade visitors networking face-to-face was truly appreciated by all. The feedback about the Expo has been overwhelmingly positive from exhibitors and visitors,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.
With the theme ‘The Future Is Here’, the Expo’s features were designed around the most comprehensive seminar program in the Expo’s history. Sessions focused on the most important industry topics including Mandatory Data Sharing, the skills shortage and electric vehicles. Other sessions covered business development, digital marketing, customer service, technical topics and much more.
“The event set a new benchmark in delivering the most comprehensive and interactive education program ever, which included speaker panels featuring technical experts, workshop owners, politicians, educators, international guests and the new Workshop of the Future sessions. We delivered an unprecedented gathering of expertise and experience to help trade visitors prepare for their future,” said Stuart.
The all-new Workshop of the Future Pavilion took the education program to a new level, with daily sessions to help fast-track the automotive industry’s understanding of and transition to, servicing and repairing the future generation of vehicles, covering the ICE and EV car parc.
The Expo was officially opened on Thursday 7th April by Senator Deborah O’Neill, a long-time supporter of the aftermarket industry and the campaign for mandatory data sharing. Senator O’Neill was joined by AAAA CEO Stuart Charity, Mark Pedder – AAAA Board Chairman and Penni Donato – Managing Director of Allin Towbars.
Over 270 of the industry’s leading brands exhibited at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, showcasing the latest vehicle repair and servicing equipment, parts, tools and accessories, new technology and trends.
The Expo is also where the industry celebrates and recognises excellence in the automotive aftermarket industry across a wide range of award categories. Taking place on Thursday evening of the Expo, the Australian Auto Aftermarket Awards banquet was a record-breaking event, with 888 industry guests enjoying an unforgettable evening at Crown’s Palladium to celebrate the magnificent achievements of industry champions and innovators.
The Expo had no shortage of entertainment for visitors across three days, including the new 4WD Innovation Zone, appearances by many of the biggest names in Australian motorsport, supercar champions, race car displays, tool and equipment demonstrations and interactive activities.
“Opening to the public on Saturday alongside our trade visitors was a new initiative, which added an exciting vibe and allowed us to showcase the best of the industry to the next generation of automotive technicians. Seeing young attendees utterly enthralled by the stands and demonstrations and hearing their commitment to joining our pool of talent in years to come was very uplifting,” said Stuart.
“I want to thank everyone involved in making this Expo one to remember. Our exhibitors, visitors, industry experts who presented across the weekend, the IEC event team, the AAAA Board, the AAAA team and everyone in our industry who has supported the AAAA and the Expos. I’d like to acknowledge the support of Auto Aftermarket Expo Major Sponsor Repco, and Collision Repair Expo Major Sponsor SAPE Group, and all of our valued partners and sponsors who helped us run this amazing industry event.
“We are already looking forward to 2024.”
A selection of high-resolution images of the Expo are located HERE
The Australian Auto Aftermarket Awards media release and winners list including photos is available HERE