Auto Service World
News   November 5, 2020   by Christine Hogg

AAPEX Day 2: Highlights from this year’s virtual event

Day two of this year’s virtual Automotive Aftermarket Parts Exhibition (AAPEX) continued  with more business management webinars, technical trainings/demonstrations, and meetings between thousands of automotive professionals.

Thousands of automotive professionals are expected to take part in the three-day event, co-hosted by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

AAPEX is currently on from Nov. 3 through Nov. 5.

All of the sessions are recorded, and available to watch for a period of 30 days after the event wraps up.

Here are some of the highlight’s from day two of virtual AAPEX! 

Auto Care Association president and CEO Bill Hanvey discussed the Election Day victory of the Massachusetts Right to Repair campaign. The ballot initiative passed with 75% approval despite a $30 million campaign orchestrated by carmakers to defeat it. Its passing means it will be the law in Massachusetts that consumers can elect to share mechanical data from their vehicles to independent service professionals. Hanvey pointed out that a similar initiative that passed in 2012 but did not include telematics data led to national changes in vehicle data sharing. He is hopeful the same thing will happen now that telematics data is also protected.

What do employees expect from their employers and their jobs? What are they looking for in the workplace, and what does the younger generation crave? How can you create a business environment that attracts top talent and breeds success, instead of harnessing an exhausting workplace that wears your employees down? Bill Haas (president) and Sara Fraser (creative director) of Haas Performance Consulting provided these answers, and more, in “Creating a Business Culture That Employees Embrace.”

Jim Cokonis, a trainer with Carquest Technical Institute, led a comprehensive class on using ultrasonic tools to diagnose engine problems. Demonstrations showed how the latest tools offer sound analysis well beyond the capabilities of a stethoscope, allowing technicians to hear noises outside the range of human hearing, to provide direction and confirmation of diagnosis and repair.

Canadian management consultant Murray Voth of RPM Training offered advice on how to get out of the price-based business model – which leads to stress, lower profits, and cash-flow challenges – and into the value-based business model which builds customer loyalty, profitability, and employee retention. “We need to understand how we got into the boat that we’re in and how we can get into a better boat,” he said.

Bosch held a technical training session for attendees interested in learning more about how the brand’s various A/C heating and cooling systems function. Those who tuned in learned the differences between R-134a and R-1234yf systems, how and when to diagnose the operation of new electronic variable displacement compressors, and a recap of how to conduct temperature drop testing on A/C systems.

How do you create a social media strategy for your business? In this session, “Social Media From Concept to Engagement,” Sara Fraser, creative director, Haas Performance Consulting, covers the basics of social media across three of the most popular platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which 30 per cent of individuals say they’ve purchased an automotive product off of. Sara also discusses the importance of creating a content calendar to transform idea concepts into key content your customers can engage with.

Justin Fisette, senior product marketing manager, OTC, discussed the importance of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) PASE-2019 safety standards for jacks and jack stands, to ensure that technicians are safe on the job.

Michael Flint, commercial sales manager trainer, North America, Autel US Inc., takes viewers on a journey to learn more about what elements to include in a pre-repair inspection, including what to look for in today’s more complex cars.

Eric Ziegler, owner-technician at EZ Diagnostic Solutions Inc., offered an advanced class on “logic based” diagnostic decision-making. It included advanced testing techniques, including vacuum transducer testing, and waveform analysis. The class, which encouraged a logical approach to many common problems that tend to stymie technicians, struck a balance between theory and real-world case studies.

Jeremy O’Neal, owner of Freedom Automotive, and the driving force behind Advisorfix, offered a class on Next Generation Diagnostic Sales Skills. “The days of working with a single labour rate are essentially over,” he said. He offered detailed advice on how to build a diagnostic estimate, and how to sell it. “Every segment of time spent dealing with a car needs to get billed out at the proper rate, using tiered labour rates and an effective labour rate multiplier.

Peter Bulmer (upper left), publisher of CARS magazine and Jobber News, hosted a Day 2 wrap-up session, speaking with some of the days speakers about the key take-aways in their classes.

The third and final day of this year’s virtual AAPEX wraps up today, Nov. 5.

For more information, or to re-watch specific sessions, visit

Print this page


Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *