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Several VASA members honoured at Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards

The 2024 Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards held during the recent Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo in Melbourne honoured a number of VASA members.

Inducted to the AAAA Hall of Fame was Jeff Smit, a longstanding VASA member, former VASA director and co-founder of The Automotive Technician.

Accepting his award, Jeff said: “I’m more excited about this industry now, at 60-plus years of age, than I’ve ever been and I hope I can continue health-wise to continue sharing that enthusiasm amongst everybody else.”

Jeff Smit

Redarc Group managing director Anthony Kittel received an Outstanding Service to Industry award and his company – another longstanding VASA member – also picked up the Excellence in Export award, the inaugural Automotive Business Sustainability award and the Most Innovative New Aftermarket Product award in the Electrical category for the TVMS Rogue control module.

During his acceptance speech, Anthony said he was “grateful to be involved in such a passionate industry and to see the amount of change and opportunity lies ahead for not only everyone in this room but all of our young people in Australia”.

“What a great opportunity globally we have to make exceptional products and supply the best customers in the industry.”

Founding VASA member CoolDrive Auto Parts picked up a Most Innovative New Aftermarket Product award in the Tools and Equipment category for the Powerduction 37LG induction heater.

2022 Kim Aunger Young Achiever Award winner and VASA director Brendan Sorensen took to the stage to hand the mantle over to 2024 winner Lex Gelmi, owner of multiple Pedders Suspension & Brakes franchises in Western Australia. Accepting the award on his behalf was Pedders Suspension & Brakes MD Scott Pedder.

A honorary mention must go to Clinton Brett of Diesel Help Australia, who delivered training at Wire & Gas 2022, will do so again at Wire & Gas 2024 and has provided several technical articles to VASA’s SightGlass journal, for winning the inaugural Automotive Education Excellence award.

Congratulations to all award winners. The full list can be viewed here.

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