frequently asked questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Auto Care Association and the auto care industry.

What makes the Auto Care Association the best trade association for the motor vehicle auto care market?

The Auto Care Association is the only trade association that represents the entire auto care industry distribution channel. The Auto Care Association’s vertically integrated membership includes manufacturers, warehouse distributors, jobbers, retailers, service chains, manufacturers’ reps and independent repair shops and other auto care-related businesses and organizations. Only the Auto Care Association provides suppliers with direct access to buyers and vice versa. 

Who is eligible to join the Auto Care Association?

Companies are eligible for Auto Care Association membership if they are primarily engaged in the manufacture, supply, distribution or sale of parts and supplies for the motor vehicle auto care market, or in providing management, marketing or other business services to the auto care industry. 

How do I join the Auto Care Association and how much are my dues?

Joining is easy. Download a membership application and fax, email or mail in the completed form. The Auto Care Association’s sliding dues scale is based on each member’s annual and global auto care sales.  

When is my membership renewed?

Membership is renewed annually on the date that you joined the Auto Care Association. Members can renew by mail, fax, wire transfer or online. 

What is an Auto Care Association “segment” and how do I choose which one to belong to?

The Auto Care Association is built around nine professional segments, each representing a distinct product line or business function within the auto care industry. Upon joining the Auto Care Association, every member selects a segment that is of the most interest to their business.  

Can I join more than one segment?

Yes. Members with interests in more than one area of the industry may join additional Auto Care Association segments for just $400. These “plus” memberships allow your company to participate in and enjoy full member benefits from multiple sectors of the Auto Care Association and the auto care industry. 

I need industry information and data. Can the Auto Care Association help me?

 Our members have unlimited access to the Auto Care Association’s Knowledge Center—a searchable, online reference library of industry data and information. Auto Care Association market intelligence staff is also available to answer questions and help find information for members. 

Where can I find part replacement rates, product sales data, industry trends and other crucial data?

The Auto Care Association’s award-winning digital Auto Care Factbook is the industry’s first choice for critical market data and trend information. The expanded version of the Auto Care Factbook is paired with the Lang Aftermarket Annual, which features a comprehensive analysis of light vehicle sales volume for 80 key auto care product categories, sales percentage growth, light vehicle product growth and much more.

Do members receive a complimentary copy of the latest Auto Care Factbook?

Yes, in early summer all members receive a free copy of the latest version of the Auto Care Association’s annual Auto Care Factbook—the auto care industry’s standard reference for tracking financial and demand trends. 

What is the Auto Care Association’s monthly “Industry Indicators Report” and how do I get it?

The Industry Indicators Report is a statistical compilation of key indicators affecting the auto care industry and your business. The Auto Care Association’s market intelligence department compares new data to the same month of the previous year and then identifies the impact for businesses as favorable, unfavorable or indeterminate. The monthly Industry Indicators Report is an Auto Care Association member-only benefit, posted in the Knowledge Center section of the Auto Care Association website. 

What is “Industry Week”?

Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW) takes place each year in Las Vegas during the first week of November or last week of October. Two major trade shows take place concurrently: the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) and the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA). In addition, many other organizations conduct conferences and events in conjunction with Industry Week. With more than 160,000 attendees, Industry Week is truly the auto care industry’s main gathering place for the year. 

What is the difference between AAPEX and SEMA?

The Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) and the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) serve separate but highly compatible markets within the auto care industry. AAPEX focuses on the more traditional vehicle repair and maintenance market and features exhibitors who provide hard parts, supplies and services to professional and retail customers. SEMA exhibitors and attendees tend to serve the car enthusiast marketplace, including restorers, hot-rodders and those primarily interested in performance products. 

I want to exhibit at AAPEX in Las Vegas. Do I qualify for the Auto Care Association member discount on booth space?

Auto Care Association member manufacturers and business service providers with annual auto care market sales of $1 million or more qualify for a 43 percent discount on standard AAPEX booth rates—a savings of $1,500 off the cost of each 10’ x 10’ booth. In order to receive this discount, your Auto Care Association membership must  be activated by Oct. 1. Learn more about AAPEX.  

What does the Auto Care Association support when it comes to legislative or regulatory issues?

The Auto Care Association will fight any attempt to curtail or eliminate the right of motorists to choose where they get their vehicles repaired or maintained, and what parts and supplies are used for that service. Further, the Auto Care Association opposes any efforts to limit the ability of companies to legally manufacture, sell or install auto care industry parts or to service and repair motor vehicles. We are committed to keeping the auto care industry viable, profitable and free from burdensome or unwarranted rules and regulations. 

What is AAPAC and how do I contribute to it?

The Auto Care Association's Automotive Aftermarket Political Action Committee (AAPAC) is a pool of members’ private donations that financially support the election campaigns of U.S. senators and representatives who share the industry's goals of consumer choice, free trade, reasonable regulation and a free and competitive auto care market. By ensuring access to key federal legislators, AAPAC allows the association to effectively educate Congress about auto care. Contributions to political action committees are tightly controlled by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). They are strictly voluntary and not tax deductible. AAPAC contributions may only come from personal funds; corporate donations cannot be accepted.

How can the Auto Care Association’s technology standards help my business?

The Auto Care Association is the acknowledged leader in developing standards and best practices in e-commerce and technology. We serve as a neutral facilitator allowing competitors and trading partners from all industry segments to collaborate on solutions that benefit the entire auto care industry. The Technology Standards developed by the Auto Care Association specifically for the auto care industry can increase the speed, efficiency and accuracy of critical data transfers, lowering the operating costs for all business partners. Subscribe to Technology products now!

What education or training programs does the Auto Care Association offer?

The Auto Care Association offers a variety of educational events, materials and resources for auto care industry companies and their employees. Sessions are offered during AAPEX, at various Auto Care Association segment conferences, as well as through webinars throughout the year and through its support and participation with other organizations’ conferences (e.g., GAAS).

What meetings or other events are available to Auto Care Association members?

The Auto Care Association sponsors a large number of events that cater to virtually all sectors of the auto care industry. These include our two major trade shows: AAPEX and HDAW, our Spring and Fall Leadership Days for volunteer leaders, numerous segment-specific conferences and functions, as well as events hosted by our affiliated communities.

How can I become involved as a volunteer leader with the Auto Care Association?

Being a volunteer leader within the Auto Care Association segment or standing committees requires commitment and a willingness to work. However, the rewards can be substantial. There are numerous boards and committees on which interested members can serve. Rosters for these groups rotate in a predictable way so opportunities to serve routinely become available. For more information, members should contact the chair or staff liaison of the segment or committee they wish to pursue.

How can I save money through my Auto Care Association membership?

Members who take advantage of the Auto Care Association’s programs and products can save thousands of dollars through discounts on education, market research and business services. Member discounts on trade show participation, technology standards and other Auto Care Association programs can easily exceed the cost of membership.

Can the Auto Care Association help me find insurance for my business?

Yes. The Auto Care Association, in coordination with affiliated state auto care associations, offers a wide variety of business insurance products. Because they specialize in auto care companies, state association insurance programs can be tailored to your business, often at very competitive rates. 

Additional questions?

If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to email info@autocare.org, or access more information about Auto Care Association membership.

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