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How APRA Europe all began - APRA Europe celebrates its first 25 years


On April 6 & 7, 1987 APRA held their first International Remanufacturing Symposium in London, England at the Hotel Churchill.  When we started planning the event a year earlier, we estimated that most of our attendees would come from the US and Canada.  These members would be hoping to explore new business possibilities as well as, quite frankly, have a “tax deductible” business trip to a real nice city and bring their wife.  We had maybe 30 people in that portion of our meeting who signed up for the full week of plant visits, tours and sightseeing.  On that trip we had about 12 plant tours scattered around many sections of England.

We did not have much of a membership base in Europe at that time but we knew that there was some opportunity in Europe and we didn’t want to miss out on future growth and networking opportunities for our members.  We had exhibited at a couple of Automechanika’s in 1984 and 1986 and found a great deal of interest in APRA among companies in Europe.

In 1987 we had 6 members who are still members today – Denso, Elstock, Auto Supplies Ltd. and Remy, P.V.B.A. Van Rompaey and Rolf Steinhilper. There were maybe another 15 companies who were members of APRA at the time.  Some of them who were members in the early days were bought out by someone else, went through a merger, or just went out of business.  In 1988, Holger Christensen joined, followed by Valeo in 1989.  So, in the initial stages of our European membership drive we only have 6 companies who are still members under their original name.

Today there are 108 active members of APRA Europe.

One of the main reasons that associations exist is to provide opportunities for members to do business.  So, we were ready to do something in Europe, but we had no idea that it would be so wildly successful with over 100 people in attendance at the London Symposium in 1987.  Over 60% of the attendees were from Europe.  These people were serious about the remanufacturing industry.

At this London Symposium I met Fernand Weiland who was with Lucas at that time.  I knew shortly after talking with him and answering some of his questions, that I had found a real “champion” in Europe who would really help bring together the remanufacturing industry in Europe.  Needless to say, we developed quite a business relationship that has been very worthwhile for APRA and its members throughout the world.  Almost everyone in the membership knows of Fernands’ driving force behind the association in Europe.

These were the early stages of our involvement in Europe.  We invite you to come celebrate our 25th Anniversary at the upcoming meeting in Krakow, Poland on April 23rd 18:30 - Cocktail Reception and Dinner (registration needed: Please click here to register)

We will try to have some of the early memorabilia from the early days for you to review when we see you in Krakow.


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