LAS VEGAS-Nearly 60,000 attendees-including more than 3,000 independent tire dealers-are expected at Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week 1996, Nov. 5-8 in Las Vegas. Show organizers say a record 7,800 exhibit booths have been reserved for the annual automotive event, sponsored by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the Auto International Association (AI), the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association (APAA), the Automotive Service Industries Association (ASIA) and the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).
Billed as ``the largest auto-motive aftermarket trade-only exhibition in the world,'' the four-day event is actually two concurrent trade shows: 1) the SEMA/AI show, at the Las Vegas Convention Center; and 2) the APAA/ASIA/MEMA show at the Sands Hotel Expo Center.
During the shows, dealers can take advantage of electronic locators, provided as a service to identify and track down specific products and suppliers of interest.
Trade show exhibit hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on the final day, when both trade shows will close early-the SEMA/AI show at 4 p.m.; the APAA/ASIA/MEMA show at 2 p.m. Admission is $30.
The SEMA/AI portion of the two shows, which organizers bill as ``the No. 1 trade show of the tire and wheel industr(ies),'' will house most tire company exhibits.
More than 30 tire makers, marketers and related companies are expected to exhibit there, including Goodyear, Bridgestone/Fire-stone Inc., Michelin North America, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp., Dunlop Tire Corp., Hankook Tire America Corp., Sumitomo Tire, Toyo Tire (USA) Corp. and Yokohama Tire Corp.
SEMA organizers also are promising the ``largest gathering of wheel and wheel accessory companies anywhere.''
Meanwhile, the APAA/ASIA/MEMA show at the Sands Expo Center will feature a vast array of automotive service equipment, tools and vehicle accessories, in addition to displays of auto-makers' newest vehicles and concept cars-not to mention car care products of all kinds.
AAIW also will feature more than 100 free seminars on topics ranging from successful retailing, marketing and advertising strategies to the latest developments in computer technology.
Several sessions are aimed at tire dealers. Scheduled daily, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center, they include:
``A Tire Dealer's Guide to Merchandising'' on Tuesday, Nov. 5, conducted by Michelin Americas Small Tires, will focus on turning in-store displays into effective sales builders.
``A Manager's Guide to Tools and Equipment'' on Wednesday, Nov. 6, will feature Richard Nunez of Myers Tire Supply discussing service equipment dealers need to take advantage of fast-changing technology. Topics include selecting the proper equipment, cost vs. profitability, buying vs. leasing, and environmental benefits-plus hints on repairing speed-rated tires.
``Motorsports Marketing: Racing to sales and profits'' on Thursday, Nov. 7, will feature a panel discussion on getting involved in motor sports and using such efforts to build image and awareness for a business, motivate employees, develop sales promotions and increase store traffic.
``Marketing on the Internet'' on Friday, Nov. 8, will explain how some firms use non-traditional advertising, sales promotion and training programs on the Internet to increase market share.
Three more seminars aimed at tire dealers are scheduled for the Sands Expo Center from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. daily. They include:
``The future of the high performance tire market'' on Tuesday, Nov. 5, where panelists will define the performance market and forecast how dealers should prepare for changes.
``Electronic commerce for the tire industry'' on Wednesday, Nov. 6, featuring a demonstration to show how businesses will be affected by the Internet.
``Managing profits through change'' on Thursday, Nov. 7, showing how to overcome the fear, impatience and confusion that change can cause among employees.
For information, contact AAIW's ShowFax line at (800) 474-6932 and punch in access code 96125 using a touchtone telephone, or call Epic Enterprises Inc. at (619) 294-2999; Fax (619) 294-6699.