The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) hosted the inaugural National Industry Convention Autocare 2018, a two-day event held at the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour targeted at the aftermarket parts, service and repair professional.
In support of our industry, the Hon. Michael Sukkar in his opening address and Mr Rod Simms in his Key Note speech addressed the ACCC recommendations to develop a mandatory scheme for the sharing of critical repair and service information. At a technical level, Nikki Gerling of Bosch and Jason Bartanen of I-CAR highlighted the “shape of things to come” and how the connected and electrified world will change the collision repair landscape.
Autocare 2018 was built around the seminar program and it was a great privilege that we at the National Collision Repairer, together with our colleague John McCoy-Lancaster, had the opportunity to facilitate workshops over the two days. Whilst the attendance varied from topic to topic, there is no doubt the seminar program was a great success.
The other aspect of Autocare 2018 was the trade exhibition and on day one there was a strong and steady stream of delegates flowing through the trade display with the exhibitors eager to show off their latest products and services. Day two saw a slow-down in traffic, although this coincided with four seminars and two key note speakers throughout the day.
One of the highlights in the collision repair stream was the Lowbake mobile spray booth which was set up on the outdoor deck. Mark Williams and his team have taken things to a new level as global refinish coatings suppliers, such as Nippon Paint and Valspar Automotive gave live demonstrations in the booth while the audience watched in a separate viewing area adjacent to the spray booth. The demonstrations were livestreamed on Facebook which was a fantastic use of this cutting-edge technology.
The consensus was that Autocare 2018 was a great success where industry professionals both nationally and internationally were able to congregate, collaborate and share their knowledge in our rapidly changing and evolving industry.