Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX)

New AAPEX General Session to provide scholarships

The new Wednesday morning General Session at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) will provide a fund-raising platform for AAPEX to make a donation for scholarships, traditionally generated by the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS). The announcement by AAPEX owners, the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), coincides with the GAAS board of directors decision to defer the 2015 GAAS event.

The donation will be made to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation on behalf of GAAS. The new General Session will replace the Town Hall breakfast, hosted by the Auto Care Association, and the Executive Breakfast, hosted by AASA, the light aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) are both being replaced by a combined new free General Session slated for Wednesday, Nov. 5, during AAPEX in Las Vegas.

The keynote speaker for the General Session will be Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, and author of a new book, Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy and What We Can Do About it.

“While the new general session is free of charge to all AAPEX attendees, we will offer special sponsorship opportunities such as VIP seating and a special breakfast with Steve Forbes and book signing to raise scholarship funds,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Not only are we being sensitive to industry executive’s time constraints by creating a single event, we will be able to generate money for scholarships.”

“As co-owner of AAPEX, we are truly pleased to create a new general session at AAPEX to serve as a fund-raising platform for GAAS scholarships”, said Steve Handschuh, president and CEO of MEMA.  “We are very mindful of the need to continually refresh the automotive aftermarket with young talented people. The new AAPEX general session offers us the unique opportunity to unite all show attendees in a common goal of supporting the education of tomorrow’s technicians and automotive aftermarket industry participants.” 

The General Session will be held from 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, in The Venetian Palazzo Ballroom. Plans are being developed and more details will be announced soon, including a VIP packages with breakfast and book signing with Forbes and premier seating sponsorship packages.

The 2014 AAPEX is expected to feature more than 2,400 exhibitors, 5,000 booths and attendance by more than 140,000 aftermarket industry professionals. To register, visit