The news hit last week. PARTS UNLIMITED/DRAG SPECIALTIES SIGNS TWO YEAR COMMITMENT TO EXHIBIT AT AIMEXPO. In my opinion, this is one of the most important pieces of news regarding the AIMExpo in recent memory. While they are not the first of the big 3 US distributors to display at the AIMExpo (Tucker Rocky did in the early years), the return of Parts Unlimited could usher in the glory days of the old Dealer Expo that took place during the height of the powersports industry business.

Back in the days of the Dealer Expo, when the powersports industry was at an all-time high, everyone had display space. Distributors large and small, national and regional. The trade was firing on all cylinders, and everyone was enjoying the good life. But as the industry began to decline Parts left the expo, then Tucker Rocky and from what I recall, WPS was the only one displaying those last years in Indy.

Each distributor reviewed their show plans, and the Dealer Expo/AIMExpo was no longer a part of it. But will this announcement spark a return from WPS and Tucker Rocky and then all of the small regional distributors again? In my opinion, it will. Maybe not in 2018 but certainly in the years to come. Although because of the recent Chapter 11 announcement from Tucker Rocky we might not see them right away. But I do believe WPS will follow Parts Unlimited to the AIMEXpo.

I truly believe that in order to grow, the industry needs events like the AIMExpo. It gives manufacturers, distributors, and dealers with an opportunity to talk and share stories. Good, bad and ugly.

So with all of that in mind will I see you in Las Vegas for AIMExpo 2018?

Complete press release. IRVINE, Calif. – The American International Motorcycle Expo presented by Nationwide, (AIMExpo) is pleased to welcome Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties as an exhibitor at the 2018 event in Las Vegas (October 11-14) and in 2019 when the show makes its return to Columbus, Ohio.

The global parts and accessories distributor will join the greater powersports industry as a vital addition to the annual platform that creates the opportunity for industry, dealers, vendors, and media to come together in one place at one time to highlight key brands and showcase new product, conduct business, network, and address industry challenges and opportunities. Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties and its host of brands extend the lineup of exhibitors represented at AIMExpo presented by Nationwide as the first major distributor, a key category important for continued growth of the show.

“Parts Unlimited has deep roots in the industry, and it’s pivotal to be among our peers to assess the health of the sport and industry while also creating the opportunity to make connections with new and existing dealers and vendors,” said Mike Collins, CEO. “The MIC produced event provides a highly important place for powersports businesses to come together.”

Founded in 1967 by Fred Fox, Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties is the world’s largest distributor of powersports aftermarket parts and accessories and is owned by LeMans Corporation headquartered in Janesville, Wisconsin. Along with sister companies, Parts Canada and Parts Europe, they sell to dealerships worldwide. The company portfolio includes noted brands Thor, Icon, Moose, Z1R, Arctiva, Slippery, and AMS.

“In just over five years, AIMExpo presented by Nationwide has established itself as North America’s annual gathering place for all of powersports, and the addition of iconic distributor Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties signifies the platform’s value and importance for all industry constituents,” said Larry Little, vice president and general manager, MIC Events. “Post-show research confirms that meeting with distributors is a top reason for dealers to attend the event, and we look forward to partnering with them to expand the core value for dealers joining the greater industry in Las Vegas and Columbus.”

Be sure to stay tuned to the website and keep up to date on exciting news as it happens by visiting AIMExpo’s social media pages. “Like” the American International Motorcycle Expo presented by Nationwide on Facebook, and “Follow” on Twitter or Instagram: @AIMExpo.