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Indianapolis: Performance Racing Industry Show – PRI

The estimated total value of the US racing market is an impressive $13.5 billion, according to a survey conducted by the British racing trade organization, Motorsport Industry Association. And this figure does not include OEM motorsport engineering investment.  PRI is the Performance Racing Industry Show.  This was about “hardcore racing”, we heard.  “No fuzzy dice…. No neon windshield wipers….”  Trade buyers from 70 countries and all 50 states of the Union were there to zoom by the displays and source the new technology that could be winning races next year.   Buyers for tens of thousands of racing retail stores, warehouse distribution centers, professional race engine builders and race car production companies were there making 2015 inventory decisions at each exhibit.   1100 exhibiting companies displayed the latest advances in racing products and race engineering, including engine parts, suspension components, data acquisition, safety gear, new metal alloys and coatings, machining equipment, and all kinds of race electronics.  Fuzzy dice, anyone?  Nahhhhh….  #prishow

Chicago: Dealer Expo – Powersports

Dealer Expo is the largest trade-only expo for the powersports aftermarket industry, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn seemed to know it when he welcomed delegates to Chicago for the expo that puts power into sports.  There were marketing workshops presented by Dealership University, interactive workshops to show retailers how to identify marketing targets, ways of integrating traditional and digital marketing, and new approaches for online marketing.  Then there were the management workshops presented by The Retail Owners Institute to show dealers, independent retailers, service shops and allied businesses how to efficiently run the numbers, challenge their assumptions and succeed.  Oh, you were after the service workshop?  That one was presented by the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), the Official Technical School of the Conference.  This full day of intensive training was the annual technical update for service managers and technicians.  Hey, teach, you got anything to help stop me flying over the handlebars when I hit a pothole…?  #DXPO14

Las Vegas: AAPEX – Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo

AAPEX  is the acronym for the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo, and those who shape the future of the automotive aftermarket gathered in Vegas, intent on growing their businesses.  They got access to the leading thinkers from the industry, top universities, media mavens, trade and research groups, governments and “those who defy categorization”.  Those who were fairly easy to categorize included manufacturers and suppliers of Air Conditioning, Automotive Lighting, Electrical Systems & Batteries, Cooling Systems, Friction & Brake Systems, Undercar, New & Remanufactured Replacement Parts, Suspension & Front End, Engine & Transmission Parts, Appearance Chemicals and Functional Fluids, Equipment & Tools including Diagnostic, Hand Tools, Machine Shop, plus Service & Installation, Computer Systems & Software, Paint and Body and Retail Warehouse Fixtures…  Oh, you’re from “none of the above”?  THAT’s why I couldn’t categorize you….

Detroit: SAE World Congress

The SAE 2014 World Congress tries to assemble the best talent in the automotive industry: experts, management teams, engineers, and executives gather to collaborate and address current challenges, celebrate evolution and achievement, and promote opportunities for successful futures in the automotive industry.  Locating proceedings in Detroit showed commitment to renewal.  Product development and innovation have evolved significantly over recent decades, as the information technology age continues to shape the products offered to car-buyers.  The automotive community is increasingly being called upon to think strategically, and form the relationships that expand the reach of the industry into a new era of collaboration.  Rapid change has forced development speeds to unprecedented levels, and customer demands continue to rise as buyers connect to readily-available information sources, and grow increasingly knowledgeable.  It won’t be long before car dealers will be confronted with consumers who know as much about the cars as they do…  #SAECongress

New Orleans: Vehicle Finance Conference & Exposition – AFSA

VF14: Meeting Signage

VF14: Meeting Signage

AFSA is the Vehicle Finance Conference & Exposition.  This conference is the first event of the year for the vehicle finance industry, and is held in conjunction with NADA’s Convention & Expo in New Orleans.  Under the leadership of the AFSA Vehicle Finance Division, this is a biggie for the vehicle finance industry.  This conference is for auto finance CEOs and senior executives; attorneys and compliance officers; credit and collections; marketing; operations; data security, e-commerce; public policy, remarketing, risk management, and state and federal government affairs executives, as well as auto dealers, industry suppliers and business partners.  The AFSA conference attracts more than 500 top and senior executives specializing in prime, near prime, and subprime vehicle finance and leasing.  Subprime?  Does that mean that some of these vehicles can go underwater…?

VF14: CFPB Seminar How to Survive

VF14: CFPB Seminar How to Survive

Detroit: Battery Testing Expo

Oct. 23-25, 2012. Motown has passed plenty of tests in its time, and was now playing host to an expo dedicated to automotive testing technology.  Is automotive crash analysis important to you?  Are you involved in automotive crash testing?  Do you conduct research into occupant and pedestrian safety?  Do you want to find out about the very latest technologies and procedures that are improving automotive safety?  Answer yes to any of those questions, and we’d guess yours was among the organizations producing and developing the very latest technologies for improving occupant and pedestrian safety.  Either that, or you were among those investigating and buying those companies’ services.  Delegates were able to see the latest test technologies and services being used in the automotive production process, from initial prototype analysis through to end-of-line inspection and quality assurance, plus every procedure in between.  Over 200 exhibitors displayed their products for all improving vehicle reliability, durability, safety and quality.  There, you feel safer already…

San Diego: Brake Colloqium

Sept. 23-26, 2012. Developed for the Automotive and other industries, this event catered to experts and decision-makers in the brake friction material field. SAE Brake Colloquium & Exhibition brought together renowned brake industry experts from around the world to learn about, present and display the latest scientific discoveries and technological innovations in brake materials, components, systems, testing, modeling and aftermarket solutions. Technical sessions covered things like Fundamental Mechanisms of Friction & Vibration, Technology / Rotors, Calipers / Foundation Brake Integration and NVH, plus Braking for Electric & Hybrids, Actuation, Raw Materials and Standards Updates. If it all proved too much to absorb, you could always slam on the brakes…