More than 7,000 automotive industry professionals visited the NACE | CARS Expo, and over 8,000 attended educational programs and related industry events. The turnout was strong, with the co-location and support of industry groups and associations, including I-CAR, CAA, ASCCA, CIC, NABC, SCRS, CREF, 1Collision Network and Assured Performance Certified Network.
Educational programs are consistently a highlight of NACE | CARS. A diverse collection of special programs, including the MSO Symposium, Service Repair Leadership Forum and Technology & Telematics Forum, were joined by the largest collection of AMi-approved classes, and numerous attendees completed their AAM certification. A new series of classes was also offered, covering heavy-duty repair for both collision and mechanical professionals.
“The ASA board and management were pleased to see the great turnout and positive response to NACE | CARS 2016. Although we will continue to make improvements, we are very pleased with the results, and we appreciate the support of everyone involved,” said Donny Seyfer, ASA chairman. “There is no other industry resource that offers this depth of educational programs, and we will continue to build on those for the benefit of the industry, our members and the association.”
The Expo grew by 20 percent over the 2015 event. The show floor included more content than previous years, with the addition of the OE stage, return of I-CAR educational programs and interactive demonstrations, and the Central Stage, which featured vital information and well-attended panels. The live programs throughout the Expo included spraying, welding, rivet bonding and a wide variety of repair demonstrations. Ford brought their 2017 Super Duty Trucks for their Drive the Future of Tough Tour, and Toyota provided ride-alongs and information on their fuel-cell vehicle, the Mirai. Many exhibitors reported sales exceeding the previous years as well.
A highlight of the event was the Party on the Plaza, this year’s opening reception that took place on the Grand Plaza in front of the Anaheim Convention Center. The party was sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota, and the band was sponsored by Assured Performance Certified Network. It was estimated that at least 4,000 people attended the opening reception.
“Our focus for NACE | CARS is to bring together industry-leading collision and service repair professionals and deliver high-quality educational programs, collaboration and networking, all for the benefit of the industry and, ultimately, the consumer,” said Dan Risley, ASA president and executive director. “The show is about the quality of the people attending. Our goal is to assemble the top 15 or 20 percent of the industry. Our attendees are the shop owners, managers, insurers and association leaders – the decision-makers with purchasing power who are shaping the future of the industry.”
It was also announced that NACE | CARS 2017 will be held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. Educational programs will take place Aug. 2-4, 2017, and the Expo will run Aug. 3-4.