Automechanika 2012 closed its doors after setting a new record of 4,593 exhibitors from 74 countries. Around 148,000 visitors came to Frankfurt for the world’s leading trade fair for the automotive sector. “The aftermarket is booming and, despite the current economic disruptions, Automechanika has once again proved to be a reliable constant,” said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt. “With an increase in the number of visitors from East Europe and Russia coupled with a decline in numbers from South Europe, Automechanika reflects the current situation in the world economy,” added Braun. This observation was underscored by Klaus Burger, president of the Federal Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Automobile Service Equipment, who said, “Although visitors from South Europe had scarcity value, there was a very large number from Germany, the Benelux countries and East Europe.” As was to be expected, German exhibitors and visitors see the current economic climate in a more positive light than their colleagues from other nations.
The results of the exhibitor poll indicate that the quality of visitors to the fair has risen further in comparison to Automechanika 2010. Seventy per cent of all exhibitors were satisfied to extremely satisfied with the quality of visitors to the fair compared to 64 per cent at the last Automechanika. In particular, German exhibitors reported being able to make more new contacts than in 2010 (from 62 to 67 per cent).
Elke Benner, divisional manager, Automotive, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG: “Thanks to the large proportion of CEOs and decision makers, we were able to hold good discussions and thus improve our customer relationships and contacts.”
In terms of content, this year’s Automechanika, which covered 305,000 m² at the fully-booked-up Exhibition Centre, struck the right notes with three main themes: ‘Truck Competence,’ e-mobility and basic and advanced training. “The idea of spotlighting ‘Truck Competence’ at the fair was a great success among both visitors and exhibitors because many of our body-repair shops and garages work on both cars and trucks. Promoting young people is also important for us and, with its workshops and training events, the fair was spot on in this respect, too. Both concepts are capable of expansion – and represent a significant additional benefit for visitors,” said Peter Börner, president of the German Federation of Body and Automotive Engineering.
Siegbert Müller, head of Carbon Sales and CEO of Miracle-Europe GmbH, also supports Automechanika in this respect: “We were one of the sponsors of the new workshops in the Galleria, for which numerous visitors registered in advance of the fair, and we will be happy to help again in the future, if required. For us, Automechanika is a market place unparalleled anywhere in the world. This was our sixth time here because the fair is extremely important for our export business – once again, we have been able to make contacts with people from all around the globe. Naturally, we also made numerous high-quality contacts with visitors from Germany.
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 over 100 automobile enthusiasts with veteran, classic and tuned cars to the Festhalle on the weekend, there were also several impressive new special shows, e.g., rally, racing and trial trucks on the outdoor area between Halls 9 and 11, training events in metalworking and body painting in the Galleria, special exhibitions and test courses with e-mobiles on the Agora and in front of Hall 10. The e-mobile events were organised by members of the German E-Mobility Association and companies such as Linde Material Handling GmbH. Maik Manthey, vice-president Electronic Systems & Drives: “Many visitors asked what Linde was doing at this fair – the answer was easy and unequivocal: e-mobility is feasible and affordable.”
The programme was accompanied by impressive presentations both in the exhibition halls and on the outdoor areas. “Fairs change and visitors expect a relevant blend of information, events and professional instruction. In times of rapid technological progress in the automobile sector, it is increasingly important to be able to see and test product applications at the fair,” said Braun. This opinion is shared by Rouven Daniel, marketing manager of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket: “An enthusiastic and 100 per cent positive echo means we can be proud of our presentation in the Forum. From the point of view of our customers from all over the world, ‘more’ is not only a communication concept but also a statement that stands for Schaeffler. ‘More’ also applies to our workshop lecture in Hall 9. With more space and more ‘live technology’ presentations, we responded to the needs of workshops more than ever before this year.”
Automechanika continues to be the meeting place for representatives of industry, the workshop business and the trade. Thomas Roth, marketing manager, Washtec: “Only Automechanika provides the platform at which we can reach all our target groups, such as oil companies / filling stations, car dealers, workshops, independent carwash operators and haulage companies, at once. And demonstrate our products. This means the fair continues to be a very special event for us. Hence, we are very pleased with the response to our new chemical cartridge system.”
Wolfgang Maier, sales manager, SATA GmbH & Co. KG, also encountered a broad spectrum of target groups at Automechanika: “We were pleasantly surprised by the echo, especially the echo from international visitors. However, the German retail trade was also in evidence, as were users. And, for the latter, it is important to have a good concept for the exhibition stand – a concept that combines an event character with the provision of information.” For new exhibitors, such as Dr Jörg Zürner, CEO of Solwash, the fair was a good opportunity to present his company’s products live: “Here at Automechanika, we were at last able to show numerous operators of self-service carwashes from home and abroad, how they can reduce their energy costs by up to 60 per cent with our equipment.”
Regular exhibitors who also take part in Automechanika fairs outside Germany, such as Achim Leitenberger, CEO of Autotestgeräte Leitenberger GmbH, summarised 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 on the fair and exhibition landscape. Everything concentrates on Frankfurt – on Automechanika Frankfurt.”
The next Automechanika Frankfurt will be held from 16 to 20 September 2014.