Automechanika Frankfurt concluded on Sept. 15 with a record number of exhibitors, more visitors than in 2016 and a new record for the amount of exhibition space, according to show organizers.
The weeklong trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, drew 136,000 visitors from 181 countries – another show record. Of these attendees, approximately 10,000 were at the event for the first time.
From Sept. 11-15, more than 5,000 companies presented their new products and systems in approximately 3.4 million square feet of exhibition space. There were 4,843 companies at the 2016 show.
“The 25th Automechanika Frankfurt was the biggest and most international event in its history,” said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt. “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.”
According to Messe Frankfurt, the show organizer, 82 percent of exhibitors said they achieved their goals for the event, up from 78 percent in 2016.
“It has been the best week of the year,” said Michael Söding, CEO Automotive Aftermarket at Schaeffler.
Numerous suppliers showcased technologies – such as augmented reality – that point to the future of vehicle repair.
“Automechanika continues to be the most important trade fair for the aftermarket worldwide,” said Manfred Baden, president of the Automotive Aftermarket Division at Robert Bosch.
Porsche, which was exhibiting at Automechanika for the first time, welcomed the direct feedback from show visitors.
“We were able to present our innovations in the fields of electromobility and digitization to a broad spectrum of the aftermarket here, and that is exactly what we were looking for,” said Robert Heismann, director of aftersales business development for Porsche.
There were 120 submissions for the Automechanika Innovation Awards. A jury of eight experts from industry, trade, associations, science and media made the decisions. The judging criteria were innovative content, solution excellence, functionality, aftermarket relevance, safety, security, quality, contribution to environmental protection, resource conservation and sustainability.
Award-winners included OSRAM for its OSRAM LEDriving Golf VII headlamp.
“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,” said Louise Eriksson, global head of sales marketing AM at OSRAM. “We are particularly proud of the Automechanika Innovation Award.”
Tire Repair in Focus
Frank Beaujean, president of the German Garage Equipment Association, said he was impressed by the quality of the attendees.
“The vast majority of visitors came to Frankfurt well-prepared, and our members enjoyed good professional talks with them,” Beaujean said. “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 tire repairs.
“This gave workshop owners and employees a chance to experience the advantages of digital processes live and in person,” Beaujean said.
Olaf Mußhoff, director of Automechanika Frankfurt, highlighted the synergies between shop services and tires.0
“It’s quite simple: Tires belong at Automechanika,” he said. “For many workshops, bringing tire 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.”
The megatrends at the trade show were digitization, clean vehicles and classic cars.
Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams, which was making its first appearance at an Automechanika trade show, was among the companies that leveraged cutting-edge technology to connect with attendees. The paint manufacturer 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 debuted at this year’s event. Surveys indicated that 75 percent of exhibitors were very satisfied with the new Classic Cars program.
“With the integration of a Classic Car area, Messe Frankfurt has found a fitting response to the huge interest in classic and collectible cars,” said Jörn Schwieger, marketing director for Volkswagen Classic Parts. “With our stand at Automechanika, we were able to reach potential customers and suppliers from around the globe – just as we had hoped to.”
The next Automechanika Frankfurt is scheduled for Sept. 8-12, 2020.