The Auto Care Association, in partnership with the International Trade Administration and the U.S. Commercial Service, hosted the first matchmaking program with Latin American buyers at AAPEX 2016. This initiative was part of an award the association received from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help the automotive aftermarket industry increase exports to free trade agreement partners in Latin America.
The program successfully connected suppliers at AAPEX with a select group of pre-screened buyers. The Auto Care Association matched the participants’ buying and product interests, and scheduled more than 25 one-on-one meetings on Nov. 1-3 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
“Compared to show floor encounters, this program offered focused time, no distractions and the advanced company self-selection ensured there was mutual interest,” said Camilo Zapata, sales manager for Latin America, Atlantic Pacific Automotive. “It was perfect.”
“We go to shows all over the country and the one thing that is lacking is the one-on-one B2B part. This did that,” said Jason Shanks, vice president, sales and marketing, Superior Battery Manufacturing, an Auto Care Association member. “It’s a very helpful and worthwhile program, and we would like more of it.”
In addition to the matchmaking program, the association organized two successful trade missions to Guatemala and Peru in 2016 as part of the federal award, and will be hosting a trade mission to Colombia on June 7-8, 2017. Visit autocare.org/trade-missions to learn more about this opportunity. Other upcoming activities include technology conferences on the Auto Care Association’s technology standards.