The Auto Care Association hosted a trade mission to Chile on Aug. 21-22, as part of the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The association received the award to help the automotive industry increase exports to free trade agreement partners in Latin America.
Trade missions are business development opportunities to gain first-hand market information and participate in one-on-one meetings with potential clients and partners. The association, in collaboration with the U.S. Commercial Service, has organized trade missions to Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the past two years.
Trade mission delegates participated in personalized business-to-business matchmaking meetings with foreign industry executives, pre-screened to match companies’ specific business objectives. Delegates also had the opportunity to participate in a country briefing and a networking reception hosted by the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile.
“I feel that the meetings were all done professionally, with people I am looking to do business with,” said Albert Montaner, regional manager, The Parts House, and Auto Care Association member. “I personally think I will be doing business with everybody that I met, without a doubt. The trade mission was priced right. For what we got, it was a pure benefit – a good ‘bang for the buck.’”
“We definitely got value from the trade mission,” said Linda Hamill, sales manager, BWI Parts, and Auto Care Association member. “We expect new sales right away and believe we will recoup the money spent on the trade mission from newly generated sales. We learned a lot about doing business in Chile. The local companies shared their challenges and the types of products they need. All the information gained from local vendors was insightful and helpful in growing our export business.”
“The trade mission is a good tool for any company that is trying to move into a new market,” said Javier Betancourt, vice president, sales, Herrero & Sons Corp. “It’s money well spent, it’s worth it. It was well-organized; you get a glimpse of the market and the key players.”
For more information about the Auto Care Association’s international initiatives and activities, please visit . For additional event information, please contact Carolina Arregoces at or 240-333-1037.