McNee, president of the AASP/NJ board of directors, discusses next week’s trade show and current industry issues.
After going virtual last year, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) will hold its flagship NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show on September 10 -12 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (MEC) in Secaucus, N.J.
In our video interview embedded below, Jerry McNee from Ultimate Collision Repair in Edison, N.J. who serves as president of the AASP/NJ Board of Directors details planning for this year’s event and what repairers can expect to see at the show.
“Essentially everyone is itching to get back out and get back to the new norm. It’s never going to be back to the same, but I think people are itching to get back out, get to an event like this,” said McNee about the feedback they received from the industry in anticipation of the show. “This is going to be the first live in-person show anywhere in the country. So I’m excited. I’m excited to see there’s a lot of new stuff and information out there and I’m looking forward to having the show and seeing people and interacting again.”
McNee believes a key benefit of the show is the ability to help the collision repair industry keep pace with the latest technology.
“This industry has changed and evolving in such a rapid pace. It’s tough to keep up with. And I say that in all sincerity,” said McNee. “Shops need to get out, see what’s going on. The ADAS in these vehicles today have changed. It has changed the procedures, changed the way we looked at cars. It’s truly forcing shops to be at the best of their game in looking up procedures and things along those lines. New technology, new equipment, most are unaware.”
“You’re the expert. You need to know. There’s nobody that’s going to help you with that. So coming to a show like this, seeing some of the new technology, new procedures, what’s available to you,” said McNee. “The technology has changed so much and the advancement for help out there is great. And unless you’re participating in these things, you’re not stumbling across this stuff by accident, by any means.”
While New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area have been spared the large increases in COVID infections seen in other parts of the U.S. due to the Delta variant, the show will have enhanced safety protocols in place to help assure attendee safety.
“They’re enhancing the cleaning and disinfecting. We’re going to have signage throughout the facilities for wash stations and social distancing and mask encouragement,” said McNee. “There’s going to be hand sanitizing stations at the locations and exit and throughout the facility. Nightly, the place is going to be cleaned, from day to day.”
As McNee explains masks are being encouraged, but not required at this time to attend the event. Show organizers cautioned this may change by show time depending on governmental