Words and Photos: Tymon Blizzard and AAAA
Organised by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), with mycar Tyre & Auto, Supercheap Auto and Gates as the premium partners, the Autocare 2023 training event and trade show saw thousands of automotive technicians, apprentices and workshop managers from across Australia descend on the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre to learn and grow their career, as well as invest in their future business success.
“Autocare has been a resounding success and is a testament to our incredible industry. The event was buzzing, there was a positive atmosphere and it was so great to see everyone come together and celebrate our industry,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA.
“We brought together the best trainers, developed a programme of the most in-demand topics and built an impressive trade show with Australia’s best brands.”
Even before the doors opened on 9-10 June, Autocare 2023 had attracted huge interest, meaning the training sessions and seminars across the two days were well attended. These included a Technical Training Programme, sponsored by Auto Tech and featuring input from US diagnostics expert Brandon Steckler, as well as local professionals.
A strong focus on EVs and hybrids in the Technical Training Programme reflected the growing importance of non-ICE propulsion in the Australian new and used car market, along with the need for service technicians to be up to date on how to diagnose, service and repair these vehicles.
Conventional ICE vehicles weren’t ignored, though, with EGR systems, fuel injection systems, exhaust aftertreatment and diesel specific diagnostics also covered in the training programme.
Additionally, a Workshop Management Programme, sponsored by Repco Authorised Service, was all about helping workshop managers - at dealerships and independent outlets alike - increase efficiency, sustainability and profitability in their operations.
Topics covered here included opportunities in emerging vehicle technologies, finding and keeping top talent, how to achieve and maintain excellence in customer service, cybercrime and data security, environmental responsibility, the importance of having a business plan and what the Australian automotive aftermarket industry is expected to look like in the future.
Running concurrently with the Autocare training sessions was the Autocare Trade Show, where premium brands exhibiting their latest products and new technologies included JAX Tyre and Auto, ACM Parts, Cool Drive, Pedders, DPF Australia, Dayco, Power Crank, Bosch, Marlin Tyre & Mechanical, ZF Aftermarket and AB Phillips, to name a few.
A new initiative for the second edition of Autocare was the inaugural National Light Vehicle Modification Summit. A groundbreaking event for the vehicle modification industry, the Summit, sponsored by Anstel, was sold out, attracting vehicle modifiers from across the country to collaborate and influence national vehicle standards for the future.
Networking was another key component of Autocare. Delegates enjoyed daily lunches sponsored by Warren & Brown Tools, while the Friday evening Networking Event, sponsored by SmartPay, offered another fantastic chance to make new contacts and do business.
“The success of Autocare has shown the important role the event has to promote and foster the future of our most valuable resource, our people,” Charity added.
Given the response to the 2023 expo, Autocare 2025 has already been locked in. Dates and a venue are still to be finalised at time of writing, but expect the next iteration of this biennial trade event to be held sometime in mid-2025.
For additional information from this year’s Autocare, along with more on the 2025 expo as updates are released, go to autocare.org.au