Editor’s Notes: T&E Market Optimism Reflected at AAPEX
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Editor’s Notes: T&E Market Optimism Reflected at AAPEX

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There are many reasons to be ­optimistic about the aftermarket, and especially the Tool & Equipment segment. Our $9.6 billion industry is growing at a rate of 4.3%, with the number of vehicles in operation — 240 million — creating a steady demand for service work.

According to Babcox Media and AAIA research, 97% of technicians bought a hand tool in the past 12 months; 73% of shops purchased electronic diagnostic equipment in the past 12 months. The changing vehicle marketplace, along with advancements in technology ­require shops and techs to continually invest in new tools and equipment. 

Attendees of the 2011 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) were able to see many of these new tools and equipment up close. The entire AAPEX event featured a total of 2,292 exhibitors, 230 more than last year, and filled both floors of the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas with 4,984 booths, 540 more than last year.

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At AAPEX, AAIA produced the Shop of Tomorrow to showcase an innovative approach to vehicle service using ­connected technology. In the Shop of Tomorrow, management and service information systems communicated with equipment in the back shop. New this year, the shop also communicated with a cloud-based telematics service and an automotive ­service smartphone app.

The tools and equipment in the Shop of Tomorrow included diagnostic and service information delivered from the cloud by ALLDATA; a plug-in telematics device and cloud-based services powered by Carma Systems; and alignment and service solutions by Hunter Engineering.

The Tool & Equipment section of AAPEX saw a big ­increase in both exhibitors and attendees.

“As a vender I noticed a steady amount of traffic with a mix of users and buyers,” said Luke Tucker, sales manager, E-Z Red. “We were always busy, and the new products were a big hit. It is always great to see everyone in the industry under the same roof.”

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Consider TechShop your print and online trade show for when you can’t be there in person. We bring you the new tools and equipment information you need to run your shop of today, tomorrow and beyond. 

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