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AAIA to host pavilion at Latin expo

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BETHESDA, Md. (Jan. 22, 2014) — The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) will host an AAIA member pavilion at the inaugural Latin Auto Parts Expo, scheduled for July 9-11 at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City, Panama.

Bethesda-based AAIA said it is recruiting member companies to exhibit at the new show, being organized by Latin Expo Group L.L.C., which also is behind the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo in Panama City, now in its fifth year.

"We are extremely excited about this opportunity to increase our member companies' international footprint," said AAIA President and CEO Kathleen Schmatz. "Panama is an ideal destination for our members to showcase their products and services. Panama is politically stable, has a free trade agreement in place with the United States and is a strategic entry point for entering the Latin American marketplace."

The AAIA also will host a member center and a networking reception and will work with the Expo to organize education sessions and other activities, the trade group said.

Latin Expo Group has established a strong presence in Latin America since launching the Tyre Expo in 2010, the AAIA said. Last year the Tyre Expo attracted 4,000 attendees and 220 exhibitors from 85 nations.

The Latin American and Caribbean automotive markets "have been growing at an impressive rate," the AAIA said, "and the new Latin Auto Parts Expo seeks to capitalize on substantial expected increases in the new vehicle and aftermarket automotive parts industries."

Gustavo Lima, CEO of Latin Expo Group, said partnering with the AAIA "will present an exciting international commercial opportunity for all AAIA members that exhibit in the AAIA pavilion."

Mr. Lima also is CEO of Oriente Triangle Latin America Inc., which distributes the Triangle tire brand in Latin America and Florida, and Grupo Sailun Latin America Inc., which distributes the Sailun brand in Latin America.

The automotive aftermarket business segment in Latin America is forecasted to grow more than 30 percent in the next few years, according to the AAIA, noting Panama has been ranked by the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Forum and Latin Business Chronicle as one of the most competitive and globalized economies in Latin America.

AAIA members will receive a 15-percent discount off of standard booth pricing. More information on the Latin Auto Parts Expo is available on the event's website or by calling 786-293-5186. AAIA member-specific questions can be directed to Arlene Davis at or at 301-654-6664.

The AAIA has more than 23,000 members and affiliates that manufacture, distribute and sell motor vehicle parts, accessories, service, tools, equipment, materials and supplies.

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