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Great opportunities at this year’s ARA conference

ARA convention
ARA's convention and trade show is huge compared to anything that happens in the UK
1100 delegates, 100+ exhibitors, tour of Nissan plant in Smyrna, 20’s style gala dinner and awards ceremony, yard tour and BBQ, 30+ educational seminars, committee meetings, and countless hours of networking with fellow professionals - and I wonder why I lost my voice!

This year's Automotive Recyclers Association Annual Convention and Exposition was one of the best I have attended. Hosted at the enormous Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Centre in Nashville, some of the best in the industry came together from all over the world.

Starting with a tour of the giant Nissan factory, the convention then got into gear with a trip to the famous Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville.

The Nissan tour was amazing. They take sheet steel in one end of the plant, that is more than one mile in length, and one of six different models comes off the line every 30 seconds at the other. There are two production lines, one for cars and the other for SUV’s, all the body panels are stamped out on site and the vehicles welded together by a combination of robots and the very friendly and welcoming staff. Building the vehicles is still a mainly manual process, with robots and other mechanical devices only used to assist the staff to correctly and efficiently put the product together.

Wildhorse on the other hand is Nashville’s premier dining and entertainment destination, simultaneously a restaurant, bar, concert site, dance venue and TV studio. Great night was had by all!

Seminars were led by industry specialists, invited speakers, CEO’s and auto recyclers, covering a variety of aspects including, marketing, management, standards, risk, technology, cores, and more. The exposition included equipment, services, suppliers, core buyers, fuel recyclers, software companies as well as food and drink services and space for networking.

The annual gala dinner and award ceremony had a ’20’s theme that was embraced by many of the delegates, and was followed by a charity casino evening.

Express Recyclers hosted the Yard Tour and Barbecue. With a pic-your-own section, scrap metal and full service yard, Express Recyclers are able to fulfil most requests for used parts and deal with all types of salvage. Throw in good food, a large selection of drinks and the opportunity to walk through the yard and this was an evening that many of the delegates did not want to miss.
Chance to join in next year
Next year ARA will hold their annual convention in Charltotte, North Carolina Oct 7-10th. Terry Charlton who has been an ARA member for many years and regular visitor to this event is thinking of arranging a road trip to the convention. Plans are sketchy at the moment but will include visits to yards and some sightseeing as well as the convention which includes a large trade show, educational seminars, and social functions. Tickets will also be available for the Nascar Sprint Cup at Charlotte International Raceway. Terry tells us that he is organising the road trip only and individuals will need to book the actual convention themselves. He can advise you how to do this if you have any concerns.

Several UK dismantlers regularly attend this event and others have expressed an interest in attending which has prompted Terry to organise the road trip. If you are interested and would like to know more, then you can email Terry here or call him at Charlton Recycled Autoparts Ltd on 01223 832656.

December 2014

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