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Automotive Aftermarket Expo a resounding success

The AAAE has returned to Melbourne; awards recognise the industry’s finest


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12 Apr 2022

THE AUSTRALIAN Auto Aftermarket Expo (AAAE) and Collision Repair Expo has this week brought together the industry’s best and most innovative suppliers to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.


Following a three-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Expo saw thousands of visitors pour through its doors, the event labelled “extremely successful” by its organisers at 270 exhibitors alike, the AAAA’s Stuart Charity saying “a strong trade visitor presence had resulted in positive feedback from all around the industry.”


Speaking to GoAutoNews at the Expo, Steve Cooper, director of SPC Enterprises, summed up the sentiment of many in attendance at this year’s Expo saying, “It’s great to be back in the swing of things and to get our newer technology in front of people.


“For us, there’s been a big shift into newer LED technologies over recent years and in lighting, it’s now exclusively where we’re at. It’s important to showcase that we’re keeping with the times.


“Between the AAAE and the Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow this weekend, it’s fair to say there’s a lot going on and I have to say it’s terrific to get out and see people face-to-face again.”


Australian-based Tridon, a company with a solid 46-year presence in the automotive and industrial hardware sector – and winner of this year’s AAAE Excellence Award for Manufacturing (Bronze) – took to the Expo with an extensive showcase of its locally manufactured parts (of which there are more than 10,000), as well as a vast collection of products and tooling from its wholly-owned subsidiaries.


Speaking to GoAutoNews at the Expo, Tridon Australia national account manager Ben McAlpine said the company was moving to keep pace with the changing nature of the automotive industry in Australia but would remain equally focussed on supporting its long-standing customers.


“We have a focus on our Australian-made products at this year’s Expo, but we also have a range of products and tools on display, including those that are Tridon-owned, such as those from Toledo Tools, Sykes-Pickavant, Matson and of course Tridon Australia,” he said.


“We also have a range of tools and products here to service low emissions and electric vehicles, and that’s part of Tridon’s medium-term focus.


“We see that there will be a need for consumable and rotating components – as well as tooling-related products – to service these innovative vehicles moving forward – including products from our Knipex range which are rated to more than 1000 volts to keep technicians safe.”


It seems the latest in electrified technology was equally important to the providers of workshop equipment, including Karcher Australia that was at the Expo to showcase its latest 18- and 36-volt cordless tooling range and heavy-duty workshop cleaning systems.


Speaking to GoAutoNews, Harmony Edelhurst from Karcher Australia said it was the German-based company’s first time at the Expo and that larger products – including the brand’s innovative dry-ice blaster – were of particular interest to workshop owners where moisture elimination was a necessity.


“It’s our first time at the Expo and it’s exciting to be here and showcase some of the exciting new products we have available. Particularly of interest is our IB 10/8 L2P ice blaster, which operates effectively and safely on a wide range of surfaces, and our growing battery-operated range of workshop products,” she said.


“There’s been a lot of interest in cordless technology lately, like the Puzzi 8/1 C Spray Extraction Cleaner. Cordless technology is really where the market is now. They’re not only safer, lighter, and easier to use, but they’re a lot smarter too.”


And it seems that Karcher Australia wasn’t the only stand with something ‘smarter’ to offer at the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo.


The event’s Excellent Awards showed how truly flexible and innovative the Australian aftermarket industry is, with awards in over 20 categories recognising service to the industry, excellence in manufacturing, and product innovation.


Held at the neighbouring Crown Palladium, the Australian Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards hosted a record 880 industry guests. The ceremony not only celebrated and recognised excellence in the automotive aftermarket industry, but also honoured several of the industry’s most worthy individuals (see full list below).


“What an amazing way to come together and celebrate the best of our industry, together in the one place, after a long three-year hiatus, both at the Auto Aftermarket and Collision Repair Expos and our amazing awards evening,” said Australian Auto Aftermarket Association CEO Stuart Charity.


“I am so incredibly proud of the resilience of our industry to achieve success through unprecedented times including the pandemic and recent floods. To see so many individuals and companies awarded for their manufacturing, marketing success and industry contributions with these coveted awards was a sight to behold.


“I’d like to congratulate all the award winners. I’d like to particularly acknowledge our two Hall of Fame inductees, David Fraser, group CEO of Capricorn Society, and Anthony Kittel, managing director of Redarc, for their distinguished and successful careers in the industry.


“I’d also like to recognise Brendan Sorenson, who became the Kim Aunger Young Achiever award recipient, and Stephen Bird, who achieved the Outstanding Service to Industry Award for his incredible career with Repco.”


2022 Australian Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards:


AAAA Hall of Fame Inductees: 

David Fraser (Capricorn); Anthony Kittel (Redarc)

Kim Aunger Young Achiever: 

Brendan Sorenson (Steve Sorenson Mechanical)

Outstanding Service to Industry: 

Stephen Bird

Best Stand under 36sqm: 

LED Autolamps

Best Stand over 36sqm: 

ZF Services

Excellence in Exports (Gold): 

Disc Brakes Australia

Excellence in Exports (Silver): 


Excellence in Exports (Bronze): 

Australian Clutch Services

Excellence in Manufacturing (Gold): 

Redarc Electronics

Excellence in Manufacturing (Silver): 


Excellence in Manufacturing (Bronze): 

Tridon Australia

Terry Mahoney Excellence in Marketing Award (Gold): 

Valvoline Australia

Terry Mahoney Excellence in Marketing Award (Silver): 

Fulcrum Suspension

Terry Mahoney Excellence in Marketing Award (Bronze): 

Zeder Australia / Whiteline

Excellence in Employee Engagement & Wellbeing: 


Excellence in Repair & Service (Chain): 

Pedders Suspension & Brakes

Excellence in Repair & Service (Independent): 

BM Tech Canterbury


2022 Australian Auto Aftermarket Innovation Awards:


Most Innovative New Aftermarket Product (4WD): 

CoolDrive Auto Parts

Most Innovative New Aftermarket Product (Accessories): 

HSP 4x4

Most Innovative New Aftermarket Product (Electrical): 

IM Group

Most Innovative New Aftermarket Product (Parts): 

Pedders Suspension & Brakes

Most Innovative New Aftermarket Product (Performance): 


Most Innovative New Servicing Product (Tools & Equipment): 

Autel Intelligent Technology

Most Innovative Community Impact Program: 

BAPCOR New Zealand

Most Innovative Marketing Campaign: 

Repco Australia

Most Innovative eCommerce Solution: 

Repco Australia

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