Many will argue that the first automotive concentration was in Indianapolis, and to a certain extent that’s true. But few can argue the role Detroit played in the overall transformation and centralization of the automotive industry. I’m departing from my usual format of writing about cool shops to talk about something that I’m passionate about and believe you should be passionate about, too.
Every year, our industry gathers to network, receive training and take a look at the most up-to-date equipment available. This is an important time since you can’t get this high concentration of collision-based stuff in one area. It’s both efficient and overwhelming, all at the same time. This business and its landscape are changing at an unprecedented rate. If you’re not changing, you’re being left behind. Look at all the changes that are being recommended this year just because one manufacturer decided to change what its truck is made out of. That’s just one change in a sea of changes that happen every year.
What better place than Detroit, Mich., a.k.a. the Motor City, to find out about all these innovations? That’s why the folks at ASA chose to host the 2014 NACE event there. In fact, you can even tour the facility where that aluminum F-150 is produced. Opportunities are being offered by all the automakers that will give you the rare chance to see inside our industry in a way we haven’t been able to in years. Take it from me who spent years in and out of assembly plants – there is nothing quite like watching a vehicle come together and get driven off the line after final assembly.
If you haven’t had the chance to take a look at the upcoming festivities, I urge you to visit www.naceexpo.com and look around. Look at the show floor. It’s almost sold out and we’re still months away. This is truly going to be the collision event of the decade. I’m honored to be working with Dan Risley and show management this year and looking forward to the best NACE we’ve seen in years.
Detroit is easy to get to, and there are plenty of accommodations in the area. The automakers and equipment manufacturers are putting together activities to remember. This is a venue where you can go and spend an extra day and see some of the local sights.
I lived in Detroit for six years and was amazed last week when I returned for some show planning. The city is back and alive, and cars are at the heart of it. All of us here at BodyShop Business will be there, looking forward to enjoying the happenings with you in the automotive mecca of the world.
The cruise-in of 2014 is in Detroit! See you there!