There is already a great deal of interest from exhibitors in wanting to reserve space for the third biennial Automechanika trade fair for the automotive aftermarket to be staged in South Africa, even though it is still a year away. The show will take place in Johannesburgat Expo Centre, Nasrec, from May 8-11. 2013.
“This is the third year that Dogan Trading, of South Africa will be organising this major automotive event in partnership with Messe Frankfurt, ofGermany, which is one of the largest exhibition staging companies in the world,” said show director Philip Otto. “I believe our show has matured since the first one was held in 2009 and can proudly take its place alongside the established shows that make up this famous global brand…
“Our show, which was staged in March 2009, just as the global economic downturn was hitting, was nevertheless the most successful Automechanika trade fair to be staged for the first time anywhere in the world. The second show, held in 2011, was even more successful, so we have certainly emerged from the learning curve stage and we believe this will be demonstrated with the staging of Automechanika Johannesburg next year.”
The number of exhibitors was up 32% in 2011 to 547 companies, while there was a 10% increase in show visitors, rising to 9 036 last year.
Philip Otto went on to explain that the name of the show has been changed from the previous Automechanika SouthAfricato Automechanika Johannesburg in line with the international corporate identity for these trade shows which take place in 12 cities around the world.
Philip Otto said the tough economic conditions in many parts of the world – especially Europe – was proving a boon for the automotive aftermarket industry as people were keeping their cars longer and often this meant maintenance and repairs were required.
“I have just returned from Automechanika Dubai and the increased interest in the automotive aftermarket was very evident, with a 27% increase in the number of exhibitors at this important event in the hub of theMiddle East,” said the local show director.
Automechanika Johannesburg will again follow the international example of dividing the show into six categories: parts & systems, accessories & tuning, repairs & maintenance, IT & management, service stations and car wash, safari and off-road vehicles. Tyres and batteries will also receive special focus.
The South African event, which included a number of educational, training and skills development programmes in 2011, will expand this involvement next year in line with the lack of technicians and serviced specialists in the local automotive industry.
“Already we are in discussions with the MerSETA as well as other organisations to ensure this aspect of Automechanika Johannesburg 2013 plays an even more important role in the vital areas of employment creation and skills upliftment,” said Philip Otto.
This added focus on training is very much in line with what will happen at Automechanika Frankfurt in September, where several initiatives will be employed to offer special platforms for basic and advanced training.
Another initiative that is coming to Frankfurt will also be introduced in the Johannesburg show next year. This is “Truck Competence” at Automechanika. The aim here is to encourage more exhibitors involved with the trucking and transport industries to participate in this very well supported and attended event as this sector is seen as increasingly important, particularly in terms of the cost pressures on truck operators and transport companies.
Automechanika Johannesburg offers the ideal opportunity for the country’s aftermarket organisations to stage conferences and workshops. This will again include a major conference to be staged under the auspices of the Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI), which is one of the upcoming show’s endorsing bodies.