From left, are Jim Savas, vice president and general manager from UBM Automotive, Michael Johannes, brand manager Automechanika, Dan Risley, ASA president, and Dennis Smith, president/CEO, Messe Frankfurt North America.

NACE and Automechanika Chicago sign letter of intent to combine forces in 2017

ASA CARS will spin off as a separate event, time and place to be determined

Santa Monica, Calif.—Automechanika Chicago, a U.S. trade show dedicated to technical and management-related training for automotive collision and service repair shops, along with NACE (the International Autobody Congress & Exposition), a 30-plus year-old event for the U.S. collision repair industry, have signed a letter of intent to combine forces starting in 2017.

“It’s a win-win for the industry,” Dan Risley, ASA president, told Parts & People. “ASA will maintain complete control of NACE and its brand, as well as its offering such as the MSO Symposium and training and education events. As a co-producer with Automechanika Chicago, both brand names will be intact.”

According to an ASA press release, the co-production between Automechanika Chicago and NACE will create a unified stage using NACE’s strong relationships within the collision and OE community combined with Automechanika Chicago’s global strength throughout the automotive aftermarket. Working in collaboration, the two entities will create a partnership focused on training and product discovery for the automotive technicians, shop owners and parts distributors. A combined Automechanika Chicago and NACE show will take place July 26-29, 2017, in Chicago.

Risley added that the event will be annual, whereas Automechanika Chicago had been a two-year event. Talks initially began three years ago, shortly after Risley became ASA president, to have NACE absorbed into Automechanika Chicago, but the idea was dismissed as ASA had no interest in losing control of NACE or its brand.

“The idea was brought up again a year ago,” Risley said, “but with a different approach with each entity maintaining their brands as co-producers. Talks ramped up quickly, immediately after Anaheim [NACE/CARS 2016]. We had a small window to get it done and to make it happen for 2017 in Chicago, otherwise, it would have had to wait until 2019.

“Bringing the industry together was at the heart of all this.”

He said ASA’s CARS will become a standalone event, and in so far as where and when, ASA is determining. “We’ll be working on it in the next few weeks, and will likely make an announcement during Industry Week in Las Vegas.”

The press release stated that Dennis Smith, president and CEO, Messe Frankfurt North America, said, “We are extremely pleased with this alliance. The industry has been asking for this and we listened. By combining the expertise of two undisputed market leaders, Automechanika Chicago and NACE, we are confident of our ability to offer a comprehensive platform for companies interested in reaching collision and mechanical repair shops en masse.”

Automechanika Chicago produced its inaugural show in April of 2015 in partnership with UBM, formerly Advanstar Communications, training more than 2,000 technicians and shop owners. NACE has served the automotive repair and collision market for more than 30 years. The strong commitment to the automotive industry by each of these groups solidifies the combined position to exceed the demands of the market.

UBM Automotive Vice President and General Manager Jim Savas said, “This partnership is a real opportunity for shop owners, managers and technicians to connect at an event tailored to them by groups that understand their training needs and the real-world repair issues they face”

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Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.