By Carolina Arregoces, associate, International Affairs, Auto Care Association
As the auto care industry becomes more borderless every day and continues to be a rapidly growing segment of the global economy, AAPEX is increasing its presence in the international automotive community by identifying and promoting international business opportunities for our attendees.
One promising, but overlooked region for auto care exports, is Latin America. This region has been growing at an impressive rate and the outlook is very positive for the auto care industry. Latin American markets offer great business opportunities for companies due to:
• Aging vehicle populations that require continuous maintenance and replacement services,
• Growing vehicle populations,
• High level of used‐car sales and used‐vehicle imports,
• Highly reliant on imported auto parts to maintain their vehicles due to low levels of local manufacturing of aftermarket products,
• Increasing distances traveled in vehicles due to an accelerated urban expansion,
• Vehicles deteriorating faster and needing more parts for routine maintenance due to poor condition of roads, heavy traffic, deficient public transportation and lack of organized traffic flow, and
• Presence of retailers of automotive parts and accessories that buy directly from overseas manufacturers or through local distributors.
Recognizing these opportunities, the Auto Care Association, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been organizing activities designed to help boost exports to the region. The association has hosted seven successful trade missions in the last three years to key markets in Central and South America. In addition, an upcoming trade mission to Colombia in 2019 will be announced soon.
In order to take advantage of AAPEX as a well-established space to promote exports, the Auto Care Association is offering U.S. manufacturing exhibitors the opportunity to meet with international buyers and distributors through Auto Care Association’s international matchmaking program. The program will match U.S. exhibitors to international buyers based on their products of interest, and will schedule one-on-one meetings Oct. 30 – 31 at the Sands Expo during AAPEX.
In addition to these export promotion activities, the association has been organizing a series of technology missions to facilitate the adoption of industry technology standards within key Latin American markets. The conferences, attended by top local auto care industry executives and government officials, have focused on the processes around standards development and maintenance for ACES (Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) and PIES (Product Information Exchange Standard).
Spanish-speaking visitors at AAPEX are welcome to attend our seminar “ACES & PIES Overview in Spanish” on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. in Marco Polo Room 703, to learn more about our technology standards. In addition, the following AAPEXedu sessions will be translated in Spanish: Strategies to Win in a Challenging Economy; California’s Prop 65: The information You Need to Know; 2019 Aftermarket Outlook; and YANG Town Hall.
If you are interested in increasing your presence in Latin America, AAPEX is the best platform to connect with industry executives, to create business relationships and to expand business opportunities in the region.