Automechanika Frankfurt concluded on 15 September with a record number of exhibitors, more visitors and a new record for the amount of exhibition space. The event drew 136,000 trade visitors from 181 countries and of these, approximately 10,000 were at the event for the first time. 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 with more than 5,000 companies presenting their new products and solutions in an area of approximately 315,000 m². The feedback from our customers has been unmistakable. Never before has Automechanika 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 that attended. In all 23 exhibition hall levels and in the outdoor exhibition area, things were really humming.”
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 Robert Bosch. Manfred Baden, President of the Automotive Aftermarket Division 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 – 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 discussions 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 many other countries including China, Italy, France, Poland and Great Britain.”
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. Marketing Manager Brand Communications, Wineth Malvar said: “Automechanika 2018 provided the platform for Sherwin-Williams to showcase our ‘The Mastery of Refinishing’ theme, focusing on our refinish brands, as well as our innovative digital colour and training solutions, which drew an unprecedented number of visitors to our stand.”
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.