Auto Service World
News   August 26, 2014   by CARS Magazine

NACE | CARS 2014 Roundup

The automotive collision and mechanical repair industry flocked to Detroit this summer for the renaissance of NACE | CARS 2014. With celebrities, industry giants, technical experts, live demos and a wide array of leading industry associations...


The automotive collision and mechanical repair industry flocked to Detroit this summer for the renaissance of NACE | CARS 2014. With celebrities, industry giants, technical experts, live demos and a wide array of leading industry associations converging in the Motor City, it was an exceptional week.

Darryl Simmons of Collision Repair Magazine said it best as part of the publication’s recap of NACE | CARS 2014: “There must have been some Motor City magic breathing a whole new life into the industry’s crown jewel show. The air crackled with excitement at this year’s NACE. From show-floor buzz to forward-looking presentations, from cutting-edge training to extraordinary social events, this was, according to exhibitors and attendees, the best collision repair exposition in recent memory.”

With more than 6,500 automotive industry professionals visiting the Expo and 8,000-plus throughout Detroit attending NACE | CARS and related Industry Week events, the turnout was top-notch.

Partnering with numerous associations, events and groups such as I-CAR, CREF, MERA, CCIF and CIC to form Industry Week was a recipe for success. It clearly showed there is still significant support and benefits for an industry-specific event.

The 2014 NACE | CARS Conference & Expo kicked off July 30, offering a diverse collection of new features, including a larger show floor, a rebranded MSO Symposium (now “CRES,” the Collision Repair Executive Symposium), as well as manufacturer-specific classes and a strong focus on aluminum repair.

Numerous live demonstrations on the show floor included aluminum welding, spraying in two prep booths, rivet bonding and more. Chip Foose, KC Mathieu, and Hal Loo performed live paint/spray demos for attendees. Charley Hutton and Ryan Evans were also on hand signing autographs. I-CAR hosted a large center stage with presentations throughout the two-day expo.

On the mechanical service and repair side of the business, CARS brought all new content to attendees including the Auto Alliance Technology & Telematics Forum, the Young Technicians Symposium, live demonstrations of scan tool and new alignment technology, and much more.

Real decision-makers and shop owners came from throughout the U.S. and more than 20 additional countries to find the latest tools and technology for their shops.  Many exhibitors reported making numerous sales throughout the show.

“The ASA board and management made some bold moves for NACE | CARS 2014. We knew we were taking a risk but we also knew changes had to be made to the event for the benefit of the automotive repair industry, our members, and the association. Although we will continue to make improvements, we are very pleased with the results and we appreciate the support of everyone involved,” said Darrell Amberson, ASA chairman.

“The success of the show is truly defined by the feedback from exhibitors and attendees regarding their experience. The response from them has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re thankful for their support and look forward to building upon the foundation we’ve established in Detroit,” said Dan Risley, ASA president and executive director.

The industry is still buzzing about NACE | CARS 2014

Dan Benton, color marketing manager for North America at Axalta Coating Systems, said, “I saw people both days here come back, so I think Detroit is a great location.”

“This is definitely the best NACE show in a long time,” said Dana Alexander of CSN – Dana’s Collision, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. “It was a great lineup of education seminars and plenty of new items on the show floor. I especially enjoyed the show app that let me find booths and keep track of events. Great job!”

“The week flew by. I was busy the entire time. The floor had more pop and excitement, the venue was far better than I expected, the industry week events were informative and the networking was everywhere. Nice job! Something to build on for years to come,” said Mike LeVasseur, president and COO, Keenan Auto Body Inc., Clifton Heights, Pa.

“By a large margin I feel the show was our most successful in recent memory. I felt the show floor was the best laid-out show floor I have seen in quite some time,” said Pete Rudloff, owner, Pete’s Garage, Newark, Del.

“Having just expanded my location, I needed new equipment. Now we will be prepared for aluminum repairs by year-end,” said Don Morton, Don-Mor CARSTAR, London, Ontario, Canada. “The layout of the show made it easy to find specific booths and the proximity to the education events was convenient.”

“We are very pleased with the workflow, the educational seminars and the venue,” said Jeff Kern, president of Car-O-Liner. “I especially enjoyed the CRES symposium. Many of our key accounts are here and we are happy to have the opportunity to spend quality time together with them.”

Kurt Lammon, Urethane Supply Company, said, “NACE is back! We are happy to be here and are happy with the turnout of shops and distributors.”

John Brill, Steck Manufacturing, said the show offered something for everyone, which added a new sense of excitement: “It’s great to see all the training and education on aluminum. Life is back at the show.”

For all the post-show details, pictures and video about the NACE | CARS 2014 Expo & Conference, visit NACEexpo.com or CARSevent.com.