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Aftermarket booms – Automechanika closes with new exhibitor record and a host of new impulses

More visitors from East Europe and Russia; fewer from the euro area

Automechanika 2012 closed its doors today after setting a new record of 4,593 exhibitors from 74 countries. Around 148,000 visitors from 174 countries (2010: 153,837 ) 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 Detlef Braun. This observation was underscored by Klaus Burger, President of the Federal Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Automobile Service Equipment (Bundesverband der Hersteller und Importeure von Automobil-Service Ausrüstungen ASA e.V.), 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. 70 percent of all exhibitors were satisfied to extremely satisfied with the quality of visitors to the fair compared to 64 percent at the last Automechanika. In particular, German exhibitors reported being able to make more new contacts than in 2010 (from 62 to 67 percent).

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 (Zentralverband Karosserie- und Fahrzeugtechnik e.V. – ZKF).
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 and in front of Hall 10. The e-mobile events were organised by members of the German E-Mobility Association (Bundesverband eMobilität e. V. (BEM)) 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 Detlef Braun. This opinion is shared by Rouven Daniel, Marketing Manager of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket: “An enthusiastic and 100-percent 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 percent 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.

Additional exhibitor opinions:
Robert Asbrink, Marketing Communications Specialist
Wayne EMEA:

“We are very pleased with the echo. We achieved our objectives in full, especially to draw great attention to the launch of our new product series, HELIX. The quality of visitors from both Germany and abroad was very good. We also held many discussions with visitors from Asia. Our senior management was also very impressed by Automechanika. We enlarged our exhibition stand again – this time for the international Helix launch. A word of praise for Messe Frankfurt – the event is very well organised.”

Klaus-Peter Probanowski, Director Product Commercialization EMEA, OPW:

“The fair has been a complete success for us. We held a lot of very good discussions. Very great interest was shown in our new development – Avance by OPW – a system consisting of nozzle, ball swivel joint with breakaway coupling and discharge hose. Additionally, we concluded a number of transactions here at Automechanika. We are very pleased with our participation and the result achieved. For us, Automechanika is a highlight. It is good that Automechanika Frankfurt is also held in high regard outside Germany and, therefore, attracts a large number of international visitors. This year, we increased the size of our exhibition stand compared to 2010 and our new concept was given a very warm reception by visitors, which confirms that we are on the right track.”

Elmar Schlüter, Head of Hella Fairs / Events:

“We are extremely pleased with the course of business at the fair and the echo. We noted a significant increase in visitor quality and quantity. At the same time, we welcomed more foreign visitors to our exhibition stand. There was also an increase in the number of visitors from the wholesale trade, and we were especially pleased with the very high level of visitor quality in this field – many of these visitors were top managers.”

Pernille D. Lund, Export Assistant, J/P Group a/s, Denmark:

“We are extremely satisfied with Automechanika 2012. The visitors who came were the right ones and fully in line with our target-group profile. We are highly confident that the first orders will arrive soon. There were noticeably more visitors from East Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. For us and our customers, Automechanika is the most important fair – the leading event for the sector!”

Nico Carucci, Country Manager, Denso International Europe:

“We welcomed very good, high-quality visitors throughout the fair. Overall, we registered an increase in the number of visitors from both home and abroad. We were pleasantly surprised by the relatively large number of workshop visitors in the hall on Saturday. For us, Automechanika is the platform on which we present our company and products to the market and cultivate our contacts. Here, we can present innovations and new products, such as the electronic compressor, in the Green Directory.”

Matthias Hagedorn, Senior Manager Global Marketing Communications Philips Lighting, Philips Automotive Lighting, Commercial Europe Aftermarket:

“Automechanika is the leading fair for us and, therefore, a great place to meet our customers and welcome them to our exhibition stand, our ‘home ground’. We appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate our products to customers. We will be back again for Automechanika 2014 and look forward to celebrating our 100th birthday here.”

Olivier Berlioz, Marketing Manager, Hutchinson:

“Altogether, our impression of Automechanika 2012 has been very positive. There were somewhat fewer visitors to our stand this year. However, the visitors we did welcome were very good and we made many international contacts; not so many from German workshops. Although taking part in the fair is very expensive for us, the time spent here is extremely worthwhile and we are already planning to return in 2014.”

Pascual Rodríguez, Export Commercial Director,
Ajusa (Auto Juntas S.A.U.):

“Automechanika is the most important fair for us and our exhibition stand was well positioned this year. Unfortunately, the fair is much too long. Our visitors only come until the Friday. All in all, there were fewer visitors to our stand. However, a larger proportion of them were relevant trade visitors who came to do business. We are very pleased.”

Maylin Büchler, Marketing Specialist,
ThyssenKrupp Bilstein GmbH:

“Automechanika is an important fair for us and we use it to cultivate our contacts. As in the past, there was a large number of visitors to our stand this year. That the Sunday is to be abolished in two years is also good and we are pleased that action has been taken in this respect so quickly.”

Alexander Klett, CEO, EMMA GmbH:

“We are very pleased to have the chance to make a presentation here, to generate new impulses for the sector and to open up a new, attractive field of business. We are delighted with the large proportion of international visitors. Thanks to the high degree of visitor professionalism, the atmosphere here was very pleasant. However, it was not only the number of visitors that made our participation here so successful. The quality was also very good. Our exhibitor partners are all very pleased. We will be back again in 2014 and then need more space.”

Clemens Betzemeier, CEO, betzemeier automotive software GmbH & Co. KG:

“Automechanika 2012 was very interesting for us and, overall, better than in previous years. The Innovation Award, which we won together with our partner, ApplicoData GmbH, led to a significant increase in the number of visitors and we were even able to welcome visitors from outside our core target groups. Our app is in line with modern demands and we were able to take orders at the fair. Our focus was on German customers and we were able to reach them. Good preparations pay off. The concept worked and we are very pleased.”

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

With a turnover of € 467.5 million and 1,725 employees worldwide, Messe Frankfurt is Germany’s biggest trade-fair organiser. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, giving it a presence for its customers in more than 150 countries. Events ‘made by Messe Frankfurt’ take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2011, Messe Frankfurt organised 100 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds, featuring 578,000 square metres, are currently home to ten exhibition halls and an adjacent Congress Centre. The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.

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