New exhibitors, even more product innovation and a refreshing new exhibition concept are set to make this year’s Automechanika, the world’s biggest trade fair for garage equipment, spare parts and accessories, even more interesting for trade visitors, show organizers say.
Since the very first Automechanika in Frankfurt, repair and maintenance has always been the core exhibition area of the show. It has acted as a kind of nucleus around which what is the world’s biggest trade fair for garage equipment and vehicle servicing has developed over the last 45 years from the foundation of Automechanika in 1971 until today.
Automechanika 2016 is the 24th edition of show. It runs from Sept. 13-17 on the trade fair site in Frankfurt am Main and, as always, products and services for garage equipment, tools, paintwork or bodywork repair, recovery services, accident assistance or mobile services have a special part to play.
The fact that all the sector’s leading German federations are present in Frankfurt underlines the huge importance of the trade fair. These include the German Association for Motor Trades and Repairs (Zentralverband des deutschen Kraftfahrzeuggewerbes – ZDK) with its 38,500 dealership and garage members, the 3,500 members of the German Association for Bodywork and Vehicle Technology (Zentralverband Karosserie- und Fahrzeugtechnik e.V. – ZKF), the Federal Association of the Automotive Parts Trade (Gesamtverband Autoteile-Handel – GVA) as an industry association with around 180 companies trading in automotive parts, or the VREI Union of free aftermarket, which has 53 member companies from the parts industry. The Federal Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Automobile Service Equipment (Bundesverband der Hersteller und Importeure von Automobil-Service-Ausrüstungen e.V. – ASA) should also be mentioned. It has 100 members, the majority of which are small to medium-sized companies. Many of them exhibited at the first Automechanika back in 1971. Now, in 2016, they again embrace the opportunity to present their products and services to an international audience of trade visitors.
As the demand for products and services for air-conditioning systems, testing systems and conceptual support in the workshop increases, the response of Automechanika Frankfurt has been a systematic reconfiguration of the Hall layout. The focus has been on Halls 8 and 9 which have been traditionally an important centre of attraction for visitors from the garage trade. This year, to ensure higher quality in this area, the products on show in both these Halls will focus on the greatly increased range of products and services for all kinds of garage equipment and services provided by the sector’s well-known and established providers. Alongside all the garage equipment specialists – the majority of which are small to medium sized companies – who traditionally exhibit in Hall 8, trade visitors will also find global players from the spare parts industry, presenting special systems solutions for garage workshops. These include Bosch and Mahle Service Solutions along with motor vehicle manufacturers such as Peugeot Citroën.
Peugeot/Citroën: Servicing for all vehicle makes
This French motor vehicle manufacturer is using its presence in Hall 9.0 to launch its new EURO REPAR CAR SERVICE brand to an international audience. The idea is to have a network of independent maintenance and repair garages that are not tied to a particular vehicle make. This network, which grew out of the merger of the EUROREPAR and MOAQUIP CAR SERVICE systems, already has around 2,000 garages worldwide, which service and repair all makes of vehicle strictly according to manufacturer’s specifications. “Automechanika in Frankfurt is exactly the right forum for us to demonstrate the already existing strength of the brand to an internal and external audience. However, it also gives us the opportunity to meet people with a potential interest and to further expand the network. We have set ourselves ambitious targets in this area”, says René Bernhard Tchamendje from Peugeot Citroën Deutschland GmbH.
Hella Gutmann: More products, more stand space
Hella Gutmann Service Solutions has moved to a new stand location. The company is based in Ihringen and over recent years it has traditionally had a stand in Hall 8.0. A specialist in servicing solutions, Hella Gutmann will be in Hall 9 for the first time this year presenting its garage products and services. The move to the new location is the logical consequence of the way the company’s range of products has grown continuously over the last few years. Hella Gutmann Solutions’ new exhibition stand is around 750m2 in size and enables the company to reflect the breadth of its product range, in particular professional equipment for motor vehicle workshops and car dealerships along with special solutions for organisations and companies in the automotive sector. Core products include data, software and equipment for diagnostics, exhaust gas testing, headlight adjustment, air conditioning servicing, systems testing together with the corresponding measurement technology. A series of real vehicle demonstrations should graphically illustrate what Hella Gutmann Solutions is all about and visitors should go away knowing that the company promises: to provide practical solutions. “We expect the new location very close to the west entrance of Hall 9.0 to have a positive effect”, says Uwe Neff, who heads up the company’s sales and marketing. “Hella Gutmann is where it is every day – in easy and quick reach of garages, commercial partners and interlocutors from the automotive industry”.
TÜV Nord Mobilität is another company that believes in practical solutions and close cooperation with industrial visitors. This year it has for the first time its own stand as an independent exhibitor at Automechanika. Based in Hanover, this company is a safety specialist and on Stand F70 in Hall 9.0 it presents its full range of service products for garages and car dealerships. A highlight of their presentation will be the TÜV NORD portal for claims management, a shared platform for all those involved in settling damage claims after an accident. “We are looking forward to welcoming our customers to our stand to discuss the current challenges in claims management. We will use the results of current market research and examples of best practice to present various potential solutions”, says Dirk Helmold, who heads up sales and marketing for TÜV NORD.
Cormeta AG is another exhibitor in Hall 9.1. Based in Ettlingen, Cormeta AG is an IT company which specialises in, amongst other things, all-in-one, SAP-based, business solutions. These IT experts are using their presence at Automechanika Frankfurt to introduce a new total solution for garage processes based on TRADEsprint, the SAP business sector solution. According to the makers of TRADEsprint, its key feature is its multi-channel capability. “Today customers order directly from their wholesaler, but also from web-based shops or portals. The challenge for the motor vehicle parts market is: how can I prepare my organisation for tomorrow’s digital revolution”, explains Cormeta executive board member Holger Behrens. Cormeta AG’s response to this revolution and the increased digitalisation of processes in day-to-day business operations is to provide a solution that enables users to map all business processes in one application on a multidimensional basis via all channels. No doubt, they are in good company with this approach, as this year many of the established companies in Halls 8 and 9 will increasingly focus on the growing digitalisation of the processes involved in vehicle servicing.
Whilst in the past traditional exhibitors such as MAHA, Snap-On, Nussbaum, Autop Maschinenbau or Texa knew how to create interest in workshop equipment through the size of their stand and the weight of their exhibits, now they are increasingly incorporating electronics and software in their products to enable new digitalised processes in servicing. The same is also true for exhibitors of tire-servicing products who are present this year in Frankfurt in even greater numbers, including Corghi, Ravaglioli or Werther. Digitalisation is having an ever greater impact in the tyre market and it will be interesting to see what solutions specialist providers will present in Frankfurt.
This new refocussing of the show, together with the further qualitative aggregation of exhibitors and the range of products exhibited in Halls 8 and 9, demonstrates how Messe Frankfurt is consistent in its pursuit of the path it has taken over the last few years. As Hall 9.0 has been upgraded thanks to the new Hall 11.0 being built and the associated relocation of the main entrance, so visitors to the trade fair this year benefit in terms of enhanced content.