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Latin Auto Parts Expo: What's That Sound?

August 06, 2015 4:12 PM
by AMN Global Staff

Latin Auto Parts Expo: What's That SoundPanama, with its Duty Free Zone, turned out to be the ideal location for the Expo, held June 18-20. The Central American country has a stable democratic government that is business-friendly and uses U.S. dollars as its preferred currency. Panama is an international hub from both air and sea, enabling travelers and cargo to reach Latin America, the Caribbean and most of the globe.

The mega rock group Van Halen had a big hit song in the ‘80s called “Panama” from its “1984” album. For those of you who are familiar with the song, it should start playing in your head right about now.
This year’s Latin Auto Parts Expo, held in Panama City, Panama, was a success. It grew from the previous year with more exhibitors and attendees, but that is only half the story. What you can’t really measure about the show was all the networking and educational opportunities that were going on throughout the three-day event held in June.

Latin Auto Parts Expo: What's That Sound

According to show’s website, the global motor vehicle aftermarket is estimated be a $395 billion market. Show officials say that the Latin American and Caribbean markets have been growing steadily over the past few years and the outlook for the new vehicle and aftermarket automotive parts industry in the region seem poised for a bright future. One of the reasons that the market is changing is that the vehicle population has matured and more cars are now equipped with current electronic technology like electronic fuel injection (EFI).

We talked to a number of exhibitor and attendees on the show floor about their thoughts on the market and the show in general. Counterman contributor Mandy Aguilar of The Parts House said he thought Saturday would be a light day for booth traffic because many people he thought would be leaving to go back home. However, he said that it picked up pretty well as many of his prospects who were visiting Panama for the weekend showed up early on Saturday, and then many local shops closed early and came to the expo later in the afternoon, so it was a busier day than expected.

Show Director Linda Bassitt said on Friday afternoon the show had already surpassed the attendance at last year’s show and ended up with more than 3,000 visitors by Saturday. Bassitt said they estimated before the show that they would reach close to 2,500 visitors, so the extra 500 was a bonus.

Aguilar said that the majority of the people he talked to were from Central American countries or the Andes region with potential buyers from Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras and as far as Paraguay. He was surprised there were so many people from Venezuela but thinks that with all the political issues that they are now trying to figure out how to grow their economy and businesses. He also noted that it was much more of an international show this year compared to last year, with pavilions for Taiwan, China, the United States and others.

Aguilar noted that what may not have been measured or talked about much is how many of the exhibitors picked up new suppliers from the wide variety of exhibitors represented in the 357 booths at the ALTAPA Convention Center.

The next Latin Auto Parts Expo will take place at the ATLAPA Convention Center, June 14-16, 2016.

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Panama, Latin Auto Parts Expo benefit from free-trade zone

By: Bruce Adams
Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 07:00

www.latinpartsexpo.comThe Latin Auto Parts Expo opened today at the ATLAPA Convention Center in Panama with nearly twice as many exhibitors as it had in its inaugural show last summer.

This year’s expo featured 357 exhibitors compared to 193 in 2014, according to Show Director Linda Bassitt. Two hours into the opening day of the three-day show there were 2,700 registered attendees, which included exhibitors.

Several exhibitors who also attended last year’s show said the increase in exhibitors this year is influenced largely by Asian companies that want to establish their business in the Latin American market.

“The growth in booths this year is all from the Chinese market,” said Mandy Aguilar, regional vice president of the Parts House. “Panama is a very small market, but the business of Panama is its free-trade zone. Panama is very adept at handling exports. This makes for a large and healthy aftermarket for distributors and third-party logistics providers.”

The port city of Colon in Panama is the second largest free-trade zone in the world, according to Bobby Hines, international trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Hines and John Coronado, a senior commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Panama, were working from the department’s booth at the show trying to get more business abroad for U.S. companies.

“The Panama Canal is the granddaddy that the free-trade zone grew from,” Coronado said. The city of Colon is at the end of the canal and a convenient dropping off point for goods that are moved from the Pacific Ocean through the canal.

“Panama is a relatively small country – only 4 million people – but it has a sophisticated distribution and logistics business due to the free-trade zone of Colon,” Coronado said. “It also has a growing air distribution business through Copa Airlines, which routes many flights through its headquarters in Panama City.” Copa operates more than 326 daily scheduled fights to 72 destinations in 30 countries.

“There are many free-trade zones in almost every country, but the size, shape and reach of the Colon free-trade zone is impressive,” Coronado said. “Companies realize this, which sets up distribution and logistics opportunities here.”

Aguilar, who is scheduled to speak at the show on Friday, agreed with Coronado.

“The canal has made this country rich and Panama is very adept at handling exports,” Aguilar said. “There are real opportunities for business in the free-trade zone.”

Just what makes a free-trade zone so attractive to business? Free-trade zones are geographic areas where goods may be sent, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without the having to pay custom duties, or import taxes. Only when the goods are moved to consumers within the country or to another country are they subject to custom duties. 

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Panama, Republic of Panama

Helio Castroneves Team Penske's elder statesman – is set to make a guest appearance at the LATIN AUTO PARTS EXPO on June 18th, 2015 in Panama, Rep. of Panama. Currently ranked 2nd in IZOD IndyCar Series, Castroneves will be signing autographs and taking photos during the expo in Hall A of the ATLAPA Convention Center.

Castroneves became the first driver to win back-to-back Indy 500s in his first two starts at the Brickyard in 2001 and 2002 and won again in 2009. In May of 2010, Castroneves released a popular book about his life and how he's met its challenges. "Victory Road - The Ride of My Life".

Castroneves enters the 2015 season once again ready to compete for the VERIZON IndyCar Series championship for Team Penske and battle for a record tying fourth Indy 500 victory.

For visitor information and for FREE registration to the LATIN AUTO PARTS EXPO please visit the website

www.latinpartsexpo.com or call 786-293-5186 or email info@latinpartsexpo.com.

By: James E. Guyette

A new south-of-the-border aftermarket industry convention is making its debut this summer with the inaugural edition of the July 9-12 Latin Auto Parts Expo at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City, Panama.

A series of educational seminars and business conferences will be offered to augment an array of trade show booths aimed at providing manufacturers, distributors and retailers direct access to the Latin American and Caribbean OEM, replacement parts and tuning markets. The plan is to foster “a warm and personal setting that forges long-lasting commercial and personal relationships,” according to show director Linda Bassitt.“

Our goal is to do what doesn’t currently exist – a regional auto parts show; everyone meets once a year in Panama,” she explains. “Panama is a central location to get to, and you can meet exhibitors that you haven’t met at other shows.”

Bassitt contends that the previous exposition offerings throughout the region fall short of delivering comprehensive coverage. “Before, you had to go to the individual countries because the buyers are usually from the countries where the show is being held. We started this because we think the industry is lacking a regional show, and this is much easier and more effective.” More...

www.latinpartsexpo.comNew auto parts show planned for Latin America

PANAMA CITY, Panama (Aug. 2, 2013) — Following the success of the fourth annual Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo, the show's organizers are planning a new conference for the region focusing on auto parts.

The Latin Auto Parts Expo will take place July 9-11, 2014, at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City, the same location as the Tyre Expo, which will run two weeks later on July 23-25, 2014.

The new show will be tailored to the OE and aftermarket parts business for buyers from South America, Central America and the Caribbean, said Show Director Linda Bassitt.

The owner of the expos is Latin Expo Group L.L.C., headquartered in Miami with an office in Panama. The CEO of the organization, Gus Lima, also is CEO of Oriente Triangle Latin America Inc. and Grupo Sailun Latin America Inc., also based in Miami. Oriente Triangle distributes the Triangle tire brand in Latin America and Florida, while Grupo Sailun distributes the Sailun brand in Latin America. More...