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Joe Marconi

Highlights from the NACE/CARS Convention at Las Vegas

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Highlights from the NACE/CARS Convention at Las Vegas


The convention had more collision industry companies and OE presence than the auto repair sector. The overwhelming majority of people attending were also from the collision side. I did get a chance to speak to many shop owners from all segments of the industry and to many of the companies on the convention floor. The seminars were very worthwhile, both technical and business and overall the Convention was very informative and valuable.


Here are some of the highlights:


• Key note speaker, Kelly McDonald, spoke about the diversity in not only the work place but our consumers and how we need to change our businesses in order to compete in the future market place. She also touched upon the differences in the generations and how they will differ in the workplace and the challenges we will have with advertising and marketing to the younger generations, which are vastly different from the baby boomers.

• There were companies like Elite that presented seminars and business solutions for both collision shops and repairs shops.

• Many new car dealer owners I spoke to were at the convention to find out about the collision side of the industry and plan to expand into the collision business and auto repair business. For some, selling cars will no longer be their number one profit center.

• May business seminars focused on the customer, the future and the how we need to become customer focused and get the people in our company working toward the common good of the company.

• The collision companies dominated the convention from hardware suppliers, to paint, to body structure and glass. Many on-the-floor presentations showed new techniques for collision shops.

• The OE manufacture showed their support for not only their dealer franchises, but to the aftermarket collision business. The OE promoted factory approved parts vs. aftermarket parts for collision shops. It appears that the OE, ASA and the collision side of the business are aligning themselves together, from my perspective.

• AutoShop Solutions, a company that can help shops with Internet marketing, sales and training.

• On the floor, mini technical clinics gave the attendees a brief overview of the complex future we are facing with respect to technology.

• Mitchell1 and CARQUEST presented their new features and how they are committed to the aftermarket repair business.

• Repair Pal was there with live demonstrations about their online service.


There was a lot more, if I remember any other important highlights I will be sure to add them. Working the Elite Booth with Bob Cooper, Karen Cooper, Kirk Gray and Mike Boden was rewarding. It gave me the opportunity to meet many industry leaders and great shop owners from around the country and Canada.

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