Matco Tools 2024 Expo focuses on the future of automotive

March 25, 2024
‘From increased complexity across the automotive market … it’s essential that we keep our Matco distributors ahead of the curve.’

A record high of Matco Tools’ distributors attended the 45th annual Tool Expo this year. Many of the distributors brought along their partners or family – those important team members who help keep their business running. Hilda Shipcka, chief revenue officer for Matco Tools, notes that the expo is “always a family affair.” The event was held in Orlando, Florida from Feb. 25-28, offering attendees ample time to check out new products, attend training sessions, and reconnect with fellow distributors from across the country.

A focus on the future 

Kicking off the expo, Matco welcomed their new president, Mike Dwyer. Dwyer got the festivities rolling by celebrating the top 30 distributor teams of 2023, as well as presenting his perspective on the future of the business. 

And speaking of the future, a new feature was introduced on the show floor this year — the “Garage of the Future.”

“From increased complexity across the automotive market to changes in electric and hybrid vehicles, it’s essential that we keep our Matco distributors ahead of the curve,” Shipcka says.

To accomplish this, Matco is keeping their distributors looking toward tomorrow by presenting a variety of new tools across multiple product categories and providing the education their distributors need to understand the significance of these new products, especially when it comes to topics such as diagnostics and ADAS calibration.

“Our annual expo provides the perfect opportunity for us to bring our network of distributors together and engage in learning in a variety of ways,” Shipcka says, “whether it’s in one of our well-attended formal training events, on the show floor, or in break out-conversations with our distributor team members’ district managers.”  

Tools to stock 

Of the many new tools seen at the show, one of the highlights was the three new graphic design options for the Matco toolbox line. 

“We partnered with a graphic designer and had our distributors vote on their favorite [design] prior to the expo,” explains Shipcka. “The winning designs were bold, powerful, and exciting.” 

Along with the new graphic design options, a new limited edition color was introduced — Teal Thunder. The Teal Thunder colorway was available for hardline tools, power tools, toolboxes, and the new line of sealed head, long reach ratchets.

The new REX and RAPTOR air impact wrenches also created quite the buzz on the show floor, and not just because there was a dinosaur roaming around. The REX air impact wrench delivers 1,700 ft-lbs of breakaway torque, a lightweight composite body weighing 4.6 lbs, and offers 7,500 RPM.  The RAPTOR is 70 percent more powerful than its predecessor in a smaller, lighter footprint. 

Attendees also enjoyed the Opti-Grip bit sockets. Matco had a hands-on demo to showcase how the design of the sockets prevents fastener rounding, as well as grip and remove even the most worn out and stubborn fasteners. 

Ratchet Repair Contest

The Ratchet Repair Contest is a new favorite competition on the show floor as distributors compete with each other for a chance to win an official Matco Ratchet Repair Belt.

“This was the second year for the Rachet Repair Contest,” Shipcka says. “With our amazing distributors and a Matco rachet that’s easily repairable in the field, we wanted to showcase how quickly our distributors can deliver routine maintenance to get their customers’ rachets back in service.”

Antron Brown M.C.’d the final showdown as Madison Gerhardt a.k.a. “Matco Maddie” brought home the win.

Next year’s Matco Tools Expo will take place in Nashville, Tennessee.  

To view more photos of the event, check out the Matco Tools Expo 2024 photo gallery

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