The NAPA Auto Parts Quebec division’s annual XPO Sale at the Palais des Congres in Montreal September 4 and 5, offered attendees more than exhibits.
The event attracted some 5000 attendees from all over Quebec as well as parts of Ontario and New Brunswick. Dozens of buses brought automotive service professionals to downtown Montreal to see the latest Service parts and repair equipment technology available.
Held over two days, the event featured the full range of exhibitors for the mechanical repair as well as body shop supplies. There was a long list of attractions beyond the exhibits, including premiums and prizes and race cars, Chase Elliot’s NASCAR ride of particular note.
Now in its third year, the event is becoming a key meeting place for the automotive aftermarket.
While credit is generally given to Alain Primeau vice president NAPA Auto Parts, Quebec, for bringing back such an event in Quebec, he says that the impetus for the NAPA XPO Sale came from their store network.
“I really have to give credit to our stores owners,” says Primeau. “They were the ones who were really asking for that type of event, to regroup their customer base, to regroup their people. Kind of a gathering, a big rendezvous of the automotive industry in Quebec, and even extending it. We have people from Ontario who came as well as people from New Brunswick as well as from all over Quebec.
“It’s more than a trade show. It’s an event.”
Primeau says that while a key motivator for many to come to the show is to see the latest tools and products available, it was important to NAPA to also provide an entrée into the rapidly shifting Automotive technology world— their was a series of Automotive Trends 2020 presentations for example— and a significant emphasis on training beyond the show.
“The NAPA Autotech program is really bringing the garage owners to that new direction. We want to get them to be even better at what they do under car and under hood and also related to the changes that the industry is bringing.”