At the beginning of November, Mitchell 1 attended Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW) which includes the Automotive Aftermarket Product Expo (AAPEX) and Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) shows. Co-located in Las Vegas, these two shows provide a one-two punch to the automotive aftermarket bringing all the people, all the products and all the industry, all to one place. As it was explained to me, SEMA targets the automotive enthusiast who is buying smaller quantities of product, while AAPEX targets the professionals and warehouse distributors who are buying truckloads and railcar loads of product.

The reasons that people come to these trade shows include: new products, tools, equipment, applications and training – and Mitchell 1 provided all of that and more to customers and attendees that stopped by. This year, Mitchell 1 worked with Snap-on to create a Snap-on Total Shop Solutions strategy at AAPEX and SEMA. As part of the Repair Systems and Information (RSI) Group, a relatively new business unit for Snap-on, we wanted to address and connect more effectively with the shop owner, shop manager and OEM fixed ops segment and reinforce the message that Snap-on has the unique competitive advantage of being their Total Shop Solutions provider. This was reflected at the booth level with a common look and feel through the use of graphics, booth layout, collateral materials, and staff uniforms.

Some of the Mitchell 1 show highlights included:

  • The official introduction and live demonstrations of ProDemand™.
  • In-booth interviews with Scott DeGiorgio and Brian Warfield with editors from Motor Age to discuss ProDemand and SocialCRM.


  • In-booth ProDemand interview with Kevan Byrd, host of Two Guys Garage.

  • Media press conference with Scott DeGiorgio introducing ProDemand.
  • AAPEX Learning Session seminar with Dave Costantino presenting the Advantages of Internet Access in the Repair Shop to Increase Productivity.


The results for the show were very favorable with booth space up 17% and buyers up 20% over 2010. The outlook for the automotive aftermarket industry for the next few years is also very positive. Here are just a few of the reasons to be optimistic about the future of the industry:

  • The aftermarket is growing at a 4.1% rate.
  • There are 240 million vehicles in operation, creating a steady demand for service work.
  • The average age of vehicles is currently 10.6 years and will continue to grow.
  • There are 180 million “older” vehicles (6 years and older) on the road.
  • Repair invoices are 55% higher on average for older vehicles.
  • The number of OEM dealership has dropped by more than 3,000 since 2008 creating more opportunities for aftermarket shops.


Fun Fact:  If you walked both floors and all the aisles at the AAPEX show, you would have logged an 11-mile walk! I’m sure some of your feet felt like they did that…and more…by the end of the week. 

Thank you to all the associates who worked the booths. Great Job!

Karen Wagner
Sr. Marketing Manager, Mitchell1