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New exhibitor record and more visitors at the 25th Automechanika Frankfurt

28 Sep 2018

Automechanika Frankfurt concluded on 15 September following five trade fair days with a record number of exhibitors, more visitors than in 2016 and a new record for the amount of exhibition space. The event drew 136,000 trade visitors from 181 countries – another record¹. Of these, approx. 10,000 were at the event for the first time. 82 percent of exhibitors said they had achieved their goals for the event (2016: 78). The megatrends at the fair were digitisation, clean vehicles and classic cars.

As Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, put it: “The 25th Automechanika Frankfurt was the biggest and most international event in its history. From 11 to 15 September 2018, more than 5,000 companies (2016: 4,843) presented their new products and solutions in an area of approx. 315,000 m². Braun: “The feedback from our customers has been unmistakable: Never before has the Automechanika Frankfurt fair been so focused on the future. All areas of the automotive aftermarket – industry, retail and workshops – have responded to megatrends that include connected cars, networked workshops and clean vehicles, offering an amazing range of innovations for the international group of professionals in attendance these past few days. In all 23 exhibition hall levels and in the outdoor exhibition area, things were really humming.”

The mood amongst the associations and exhibitors responsible for launching Automechanika in 1971 was extremely positive. Michael Söding, CEO Automotive Aftermarket at Schaeffler AG, summed it up nicely: “It has been the best week of the year.” Numerous suppliers showcased the future of vehicle repair, including augmented reality, and a number of them did so in the form of workshops, such as Bosch. Manfred Baden, President of the Automotive Aftermarket Division at Robert Bosch GmbH, considered the trade fair to have been a huge success: “Automechanika continues to be the most important trade fair for the aftermarket worldwide.”

Porsche AG, which was exhibiting at Automechanika for the first time, welcomed the direct feedback from trade fair visitors. Robert Heismann, Director of Aftersales Business Development: “We were able to present our innovations in the fields of electromobility and digitisation to a broad spectrum of the aftermarket here, and that is exactly what we were looking for.”

This year saw a total of 120 submissions for the world-renowned Automechanika Innovation Awards. Award-winners included new LED aftermarket solutions. Louise Eriksson, Global Head of Sales Marketing AM at OSRAM: “As the international flagship fair for the aftermarket, Automechanika offers us the perfect platform on which to present our product highlights and innovations to a wide audience. We are particularly proud of the Automechanika Innovation Award.”

Frank Beaujean, ASA President, was full of praise for the quality of visitors: “The vast majority of visitors came to Frankfurt well prepared, and our members enjoyed good professional talks with them. One thing that was particularly notable was the number of decision-makers here, something that applies to visitors from Germany, as well as from abroad.” At a special showcase held as part of the co-located REIFEN show in the new Hall 12, the association offered live presentations on professional tyre repairs. “This gave workshop owners and employees a chance to experience the advantages of digital processes live and in person.” According to a participant in the new customer programmes for dealers and workshop owners: “Visiting Automechanika gives us an opportunity to meet professionals with more detailed knowledge than is found amongst sales staff. For us, the biggest challenge lies in combining tyre and automotive services, and the technical changes these entail.” Olaf Mußhoff, Director of Automechanika Frankfurt, also highlighted the synergies between workshop services and tyres: “It’s quite simple: Tyres belong at Automechanika. For many workshops, bringing tyre and automotive services together in one place and dealing with the associated technical changes poses a huge challenge. That is why we will continue to invest in this area.”

Yet new technologies were at the forefront in more than just the fields of parts and workshops. Paint manufacturers such as Sherwin-Williams from the USA, which was making its first-ever appearance at an Automechanika trade fair worldwide, used virtual reality to present new products and a new training app.

As a counterpoint to the emphasis on the digital world, the new Classic Cars exhibition area enjoyed an impressive debut at the trade fair. 75 percent of exhibitors in this new area were very satisfied, including parts manufacturers, paint makers, start-ups and associations. “With the integration of a Classic Car area, Messe Frankfurt has found a fitting response to the huge interest in classic and collectible cars. With our stand at Automechanika, we were able to reach potential customers and suppliers from around the globe – just as we had hoped to,” said Jörn Schwieger, Marketing Director for Volkswagen Classic Parts.

Exhibitor Statements:
Peter Wagner, Head of the Independent Aftermarket Division, Continental:
“In keeping with the 25th anniversary, this Automechanika was one of the best we have experienced. Our exhibition stand was full until the last day. Trade visitors showed great interest in our products, as well as in our digital services and solutions. All in all, it was an outstanding event for showing how we can make dealers and workshops fit for the future.”

Olaf Henning, Member of the MAHLE Group Executive Board and Head of the Aftermarket Business Division:
"The twenty-fifth anniversary of Automechanika is a special year for us at MAHLE, too. Along with the thirtieth anniversary of our air-conditioning service, our customers and other visitors to the fair were able to discover further new products in our portfolio. This year, under the motto ‘Future Solutions. For your Success’, we have shown on two stands how we are making workshops fit for future challenges. With the takeover of BRAIN BEE and the adoption of thermo-management products by Behr Hella Service, we are growing steadily as a solution provider and will become an ever more important partners for our customers. This elicited enormous interest among visitors at Automechanika. The positive feedback has further confirmed us in our conviction that we have initiated
the right steps.”

Wineth Malvar, Marketing Manager Brand Communications, The Sherwin-Williams Company:

“Automechanika 2018 provided the platform for Sherwin-Williams to showcase our ‘The Mastery of Refinishing’ theme, focusing on our refinish brands DeBeer, Octoral, Prospray and Spralac, as well as our innovative digital color and training solutions, which drew an unprecedented number of visitors to our stand. We're looking forward to another successful exhibit at Automechanika Frankfurt 2020!”

Louise Eriksson, Global Head of Sales Marketing AM, OSRAM:
"As the leading international trade fair in the aftermarket, Automechanika is the ideal platform for us to present our product highlights and innovations to a broad audience of trade visitors. And this was confirmed once again this year. We are particularly proud of the Automechanika Innovation Award, which we received for the first LED Headlight from Osram for retrofitting to the VW Golf VII."

Julia Fischer, Marketing Manager, Mirka GmbH:
“Automechanika in Frankfurt is the highlight of the sector for us every two years. In 2018, we once again welcomed numerous visitors from home and abroad to our exhibition stand and are delighted with the excellent reception given by customers to our numerous new and improved products. Our latest innovations – Iridium, a premium paper abrasive, and Novastar, a premium film abrasive – attracted a great deal of attention among our numerous trade-fair visitors.”

Li Donglin, Chairman and Secretary of the Party Committee of Zhuzhou Institute Ltd.:
“After years of research and development, our products are applied to the field of pure electric passenger vehicles and special vehicles, hybrid cars, etc. and we’re making efforts to become the global foremost service provider in providing solutions to the motor drive system of newenergy automobile. Through Automechanika Frankfurt 2018, we have met many new partners in this industry, who will help us to enter this new market worldwide.”

Santiago Rodrigo Pérez, CEO Goodtooltrucks:
“We had an overwhelming and unexpected success in our first appearance at Automechanika Frankfurt with contacts of more than 100 different countries.”

Jari Pfander, Marketing & Communication Manager, SATA GmbH & Co. KG:
“We had a very successful week in Frankfurt. Automechanika is the meeting place for our sector where we are involved in innumerable personal discussions that would normally be spread over the whole year. For us, the fair is an outstanding opportunity to present new products, to obtain direct feedback from dealers and customers and, of course, to see where the sector’s trends and expectations are heading.”

Simon Young, Business Development Manager, Selson:
“We are producing air jacks and torque multipliers in Great Britain and have been at Automechanika for the last eight editions. For us, the quality of the lead as improved and we look forward to the boost that Automechanika provides our business.”

Artur Oswald, Founder, Start-up Retromotion GmbH:
“For our young start-up, Automechanika was the very first fair at which we made a presentation as an exhibitor. We were able to make numerous valuable contacts to specialist workshops, as well as
renowned dealers and parts suppliers. Coverage by the trade press was also extraordinarily good. I hope that, following the successful première, the subject of classic cars will continue to gain in significance.”

Isabelle Quintin, Marketing Manager, Martinsindustries:
“The facility of hall 12 was extraordinary, and we are very pleased with the quality of visitors coming from all over the world. We noticed how the audience were receptive and were looking for new products/solutions that will enhance their operations and how well educated they are about Tire Equipment business.”

André Sobottka, Vorstand für Vertrieb, Marketing und Kommunikation bei MEYLE:
“This year’s Automechanika in Frankfurt has been a huge success – we were able to welcome many guests and partners at our new location in Hall 4.0 and present our new, big MEYLE stand with lots of innovative products, better parts and clever solutions for the IAM. A special highlight: We received the Automechanika Innovation Award in the “Repair and Maintenance” category for our MEYLE-HD slot bushing kits – a special prize honoring our engineering and manufacturing competence. A big thank you to all customers, partners and friends and also to our entire MEYLE team. We are looking forward to Automechanika 2020!”

Rafael Tomás, CEO Corporate & Sales Development at ISTOBAL:
“We are pleased to have shared with all the Automechanika family this 25th Anniversary of a pivotal biennial trade fair for the automotive industry, where the technological evolution of the vehicle wash and care sector has had once more a strong presence.”

Thomas Rosenberger, Editor-in-Chief of numerous automotive publications, ETM-Verlag, and organiser of the first Automechanika Truck Symposium:
“The keenly discussed buzzwords at the symposium included Digital Vehicle Scan – about the future of vehicle-service reception. How Digital Vehicle Scan can simplify and speed up vehicle reception was explained by Bernhard Wasner, CEO of Josef Paul GmbH. Also, Benjamin Hellbusch of Schmitz Cargobull spoke about digital vehicle files. The advantage: all relevant service data are always linked to the vehicle – and, in addition, Dekra provides the data from the regular technical inspections on an exclusive basis.”

Gerd Heinemann, CEO, BBE Automotive GmbH:

“We are delighted that Automechanika had the courage to introduce the subject of classic cars at an international trade fair. Our press conference on the presentation of the new classic-car study at the fair was a complete success. The response was great and numerous positive comments were made. Our discussions with visitors and exhibitors showed that Automechanika is not in competition with other public events with this subject. On the contrary, it is a format for international contacts and professionals from the domestic market. We are looking forward to the next edition.”

The next Automechanika Frankfurt is scheduled to take place from 8 to 12 September 2020.

Press information and photographic material: 

¹ In 2016, the event welcomed 132,944 trade visitors from 169 countries (according to FKM).

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,400 employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €669 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). For more information, please visit the website at: | |