The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced that Collision Repair & Refinish exhibitors reported increased attendance and attendee engagement at the 2014 SEMA Show, calling it a “triumph” after more than 140,000 automotive repair professionals made their way through the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“We were very impressed with the size of the SEMA Show, as well as the number of exhibitors and high volume of traffic throughout the four days of the event,” said John Holt, senior vice president, Off Airport Operations, The Hertz Corporation. “From our perspective, the visitors to our booth represented a great cross-section of collision repairers.”
Hertz partnered with SCRS for the second year in a row – this year as a Masters Level Sponsor of the 2014 Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series – and leveraged this partnership to help launch its Hertz One platform during the event.
“Having the opportunity to partner with SCRS as a sponsor was ideal for showcasing our new shop reporting platform,” Holt said. “Our sponsorship has allowed our organization to develop a unique working relationship with benefits that go well beyond those of traditional sponsorships. The way that RDE and the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit dovetailed so well with the launch of Hertz One is a perfect example of how our two organizations’ shared understanding and focus on current industry trends are perfectly aligned. We could not have been more pleased with what was achieved by working with SCRS throughout the past year.”
With the influx of aluminum repair vehicles entering the market shortly, Ford’s presence at SEMA helped inform and educate repairers on the future of collision repair.
“For Ford, the 2014 SEMA Show served as a prime venue to communicate information about the high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy 2015 F-150 to the repair industry,” said Paul H. Massie, powertrain and collision product marketing manager for Ford’s Customer Service Division. “Our presence on the show floor put us right in front of repair professionals, and the opportunity to present during SCRS’ first Collision Repair Technology Summit was a great experience. It let us speak about our National Body Shop Network and explain what independent and dealer body shops need to do to work on these vehicles. We are hopeful that the information relayed during the Summit will help these repair professionals get ready for the changes coming in the future.”
Added fellow Summit panelist Brandon Lowder, vice president of auto refinish, Global Finishing Solutions, “I thought the Summit was very well received, and in fact, we had countless people approach us at our booth the next day to continue the dialogue that had started from the panel discussions during the event. It was very encouraging to see repairers inquiring about what they had learned, and great that they searched us out on the show floor to speak with us. I hope to see [the SCRS OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit] continue to grow in the coming years.
“From an exhibitor standpoint, SEMA was excellent for us. We had a great location, and attendance was very good. In fact, this year in particular we noticed an increase in the number of people who are intrigued about growing their businesses and learning things. Many people came to us with questions, especially about aluminum repair. I can’t stress enough to them the importance of doing your due diligence and making sure you’ve done your homework prior to jumping into anything. Get your education up front, and talk to entities like I-CAR and associations like SCRS whose focus is on training and relationships with their member facilities to get as much information as possible before making any major decisions.”
Domenic Brusco, senior manager, MVP Business Solutions and industry relations for PPG Automotive Refinish, was also impressed with the substantial growth of the Collision Repair & Refinish section of the SEMA Show.
“The 2014 SEMA Show was again exceptional,” said Brusco. “It’s amazing to witness how it continues to grow each and every year. The show floor is a very dynamic place, and it is truly remarkable how the event showcases the custom and automotive aftermarket. It’s an experience you won’t get anywhere else in the world.”
In addition to exhibiting at SEMA, PPG also lends support to the RDE series, having backed the program from its start in 2010 as a Doctorate Level Sponsor. (Together with AudaExplore, PPG also co-sponsored this year’s SCRS Sky Villa After-Party on Thursday, November 6).
“PPG looks forward every year to supporting the RDE series, and we are honored to have partnered with SCRS since its inception,” Brusco said. “We’ll continue to support the success of this program because we believe that it’s a needed, valuable and unique training opportunity for all who attend. The need for increased networking and communication throughout the industry is critical. PPG believes in giving back, and in being a good steward to the industry we serve. Being actively involved in SCRS’ events helps grow our relationship with the organization, as we both work to support the collision repair industry’s needs.”