‘If you aren’t at the table, you are the meal’: Takeaways from ARA’s 79th Convention and Trade Show

Florida, United States — Recycling delegates from all corners of the globe gathered in Orlando, Florida, last week for the annual Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) Convention and Trade Show. With almost 1,000 in attendance, this was the world’s largest auto recycling event for auto recyclers.

Check out some of our highlights from the event, courtesy of Steve Fletcher, executive director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), and Gloria Mann, Media Matters’ VP of Industry Relations.

Airbags and accreditation 

eBay Motors announced a new airbag program wherein only certified auto recyclers will be allowed to list airbags. The virtual marketplace with cover certification and member costs–click here for more information.

Certification was a big conversation topic at the event. The ARA has had its certified auto recycler program in place for many years longer than the ARC–but less than 20 percent of ARA members are certified, compared to 100 percent of ARC members. With these eBay benefits in place–and more on the way–the goal is to get every ARA member certified. Canada has certainly seen the benefits of certification, and look forward to sharing how to achieve this goal.

Do recyclers dream of electric sheep?

Handling electric vehicles (EVs) was another heady subject.

Ryan Mandell from Mitchell International was present to speak on collision industry trends around repairing EVs, where he focused on parts utilization, delivery delays and other industry trends affecting the repair or totaling of insured electric vehicles.

Numerous battery recyclers and companies exploring the reuse of EV batteries were in attendance, said Fletcher.

One audience member compared EV battery recycling with catalytic converter recycling 20 years ago. Mirrored by the current confusion around EV recycling, catalytic converters, too, were once a product avoided by many recyclers.

“Information was scarce, then,” said Fletcher. “Today there are hundreds of cat’ buyers, and the data exchange is significant such that they add very nice profit for every auto recycler.”

The Global Refining Group team with their Catalytic Converter mascot.

Canuck pride

Approximately 20 Canadian companies were in attendance, represented in both exhibitors and industry delegates.

L to R: Michael Carcone, Carcone’s Auto Recycling; Natalie Miller, Miller’s Auto Parts; Derek Nissen, Hank’s Auto Wreckers; Marc Plazek, Plazek Auto Wreckers.

“For sure the highest number [of people] from a country outside the United States,” said Fletcher.

Team Canada’s presence at the event will surely be remembered–if not for their passion, then certainly for their big win during the Awards Banquet trivia contest.

“We made sure they heard from us there,” said Fletcher.

Check out Canadian Auto Recyclers‘ exclusive photos from the ARA Conference and Trade Show below.

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