A record number of 4 593 exhibitors from 74 countries and some 148 000 visitors from 174 countries at the recent Automechanika trade fair for the automotive aftermarket in Frankfurt reflected the growing interest in this aspect of the global motor industry. The vast majority of exhibitors – 3 741 – came from outside Germany, with the host country represented by 852 firms.
“We have consistently maintained record levels at Automechanika since 2008,” commented Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, Detlef Braun.
“Behind this event lies a net turnover for German parts and accessories manufacturers of €96-billion in 2011. At the next economic level, the wholesale and retail trade in Germany turns over €9-billion and motor vehicle repair accounts for a further €4-billion. By way of comparison the German electrical industry has a net annual turnover of €76-billion.”
2012 marked the 22nd staging of the biennial Automechanika exhibition in Frankfurt, which is the premier event on the calendar of Automechanika events that are now staged in 12 countries in the world. The immense size and scope of this important trade fair in Frankfurt makes it a “must visit” for many people involved in the global automotive aftermarket.
South Africa was again represented at this important meeting place of the automotive aftermarket with a national pavilion and 12 local companies displaying their wares, as well representation of industry bodies by Dr Norman Lamprecht, executive manager of the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC) and Roger Pitot, executive director of the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM).
In addition, the director of Automechanika Johannesburg, Philip Otto, was present on the SA national pavilion to promote exhibitors to participate in the South African edition of this global brand which will take place at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, from May 8-11 next year.
The organisers of the world’s leading trade fair for the automotive aftermarket were upbeat at the end of the show in Frankfurt.
“The aftermarket is booming and despite the current economic disruptions Automechanika has once again proved to be a reliable constant for the motor industry,” explained Detlef Braun. “The increase in the number of visitors from Eastern Europe and Russia coupled with the decline in numbers from South Europe reflects the current situation in the world economy.”
The results of the exhibitor poll conducted during the six-day shows indicated that the quality of visitors to the fair has risen further when compared to the feedback from Automechanika 2010. Seventy percent of the exhibitors said they were “satisfied” to “extremely satisfied” with the show, compared to 64% of the respondents at the last show.
In terms of content, this year’s Automechanika, which cove red 305 0002, at the fully booked Messe Frankfurt exhibition centre, struck the right notes with three new themes: Truck Competence, e-mobility and basic and advanced skills training.
The decision to highlight companies that provided parts and services to the trucking industry was widely accepted, as many body repairers and maintenance companies work on both cars and trucks.
The exhibitors were divided into five groupings: Parts and Systems, Accessories and Tuning, Repair and Maintenance, IT and Management, Service Station and Car Wash, with Parts and Systems making up more than half the number of exhibitors.
The Volkswagen Group once again made full use of Automechanika to promote its after-sales support, with a huge stand for Volkswagen, a smaller one for Skoda and a most impressive display for Audi. The Volkswagen exhibition featured a host of individual exhibits featuring the various aspects of after sales support, with the number increasing as new technologies such as electric and hybrid cars are introduced.
Other vehicle manufacturers that participated in the trade fair were BMW/Mini and Mercedes-Benz, but their displays were comparatively small compared to the show of strength by the Volkswagen Group which has its sights set on becoming the world’s largest motor manufacturer by 2018.
Automechanika Johannesburg, 8-5-2013 – 11-5-2013
This year’s Automechanika complementary programme was bigger than ever before. In addition to established items such as the Automechanika Innovation Award, the Green Directory and the Automechanika Rally, which attracted more than 100 motor enthusiasts with veteran, classic and tuned cars to the showground on the weekend, there were several special displays.
These latter exhibitors included Dakar Rally, racing and trial trucks in an outdoor area, practical training exercises in metalworking and body repair as well as special e-mobility displays and test drive courses for electric bicycles and four-wheeled vehicles.
One of the regular visitors, who also takes part in Automechanika trade fairs outside Germany, Achim Leitenberger, CEO of Autotestgeräte Leitenberger GmbH, summarised the 2012 Automechanika automotive trade fair in Frankfurt by saying: “This year we achieved all our objectives and succeeded in reaching representatives of the trade from inside and outside Germany. We also noted that a process of concentration is taking place in the trade fair and exhibition landscape. In this case everything was concentrated on Automechanika Frankfurt.”