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Automechanika Johannesburg: Fifth staging of Automechanika Johannesburg proves to be a major success

Oct 20, 2017

The fifth staging of the biennial Automechanika Johannesburg event at Expo Centre, Nasrec, from September 27-30 proved a major success as Africa’s trade fair for the automotive aftermarket.

There were plenty of quality visitors, excellent networking opportunities and a bigger than ever programme of workshops and conferences covering a wide spectrum of topics and burning issues.

“Importantly the number of trade visitors who came through the gates to Automechanika Johannesburg 2017 showed an increase of 43 percent over the number who attended the 2015 show,” commented Konstantin von Vieregge, CEO of organisers Messe Frankfurt SA.

“Admittedly this year’s Automechanika was co-located with Futuroad, a truck and bus show, which contributed to the increase in total visitors to 12 781 people, but Futuroad was also a business-to-business trade show, so many who came to see the trucks would have been interested in the automotive aftermarket offerings.  Testament to this, was the large number of visitors who indicated that they were attending the event as they were interested in both shows“

“The number of exhibitors also reached a new high this year, with 620 companies from 26 countries exhibiting, which included eight national pavilions. In 2015 there were 608 exhibitors from 21 countries, with six national pavilions,” added Von Vieregge.

Detlef Braun, Member of the Messe Frankfurt Board, said that he was delighted at the progress made at Automechanika Johannesburg since the first of these trade fairs was staged at Expo Centre in 2009.

“Launched in Germany in 1971, Automechanika has advanced to become the leading international trade fair for the automotive service industry after we started exporting the brand abroad. There are now 17 Automechanika trade fairs in 15 countries on four continents. Altogether there are 20 000 exhibitors and 600 000 visitors behind the Automechanika brand worldwide,” added the Messe Frankfurt executive.

“Next year we welcome Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, in February 2018. This trade fair will alternate annually with Jeddah. The next Automechanika will take place in Shanghai, China, from the 29 November-2 December. This is now our biggest Automechanika trade fair, having surpassed the original show in Frankfurt“.

“Messe Frankfurt, the world’s largest exhibition company with a history going back more than 777 years, is behind the Automechanika brand, which continues to grow globally. Messe Frankfurt is now active in 178 countries in the world, staging 130 trade shows which have 91 000 exhibitors and attract 3.5 professional trade visitors each year,” concluded Braun.

“We are very pleased we have been able to keep up the momentum since the first Automechanika trade fair was staged in South Africa in 2009 with a successful 2017 show,” said Tracey Gounden, the Show Director for Automechanika Johannesburg.

Extensive Automechanika Academy programme

“Besides very positive comments from satisfied exhibitors we were also delighted at the number of workshops and conferences that various motor industry organisations chose to hold at Expo Centre during the period of the show. The fact that most of them were very well attended underlined the importance of this biennial event as a destination for all those involved in the retail motor industry,” commented Konstantin von Vieregge, CEO of Messe Frankfurt SA.

The Automechanika Academy Programme incorporated 15 conferences, meetings, and workshops during the show period. Several, involved top international speakers which provided a global perspective of the subjects they addressed.

Doing Business in Africa was a very relevant conference for Automechanika Johannesburg, where there is an increasing need to assist businesses and organisations to grow their business in African countries, particularly those in the Sub-Saharan region. This event, organised by Messe Frankfurt, was well-attended and provided a great deal of information for would-be exporters from South Africa.

Major, umbrella industry bodies RMI and MISA, both made use of Automechanika for member events. In the case of MISA, it was an industry breakfast, while the RMI and Institute of the Motor Industry co-hosted a mobility and skills conference.

Other organisations which had conferences or workshops during this popular trade fair included the Fuel Retailers’ Association (FRA), SA Bus Operators’ Association (SABOA), Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), Motor Parts and Equipment Association (MPEA), Tyre Dealers and Fitment Association (TDAFA), Collision Repairers’ Association (CRA), Road Freight Association (RFA), SA Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA), SA Diesel Fuel Injection Association (SADFIA), Engine Remanufacturers’ Association (ERA) and Turbocharger Remanufacturers’ Association (TRA), while retailers Autobarn and SAC Trucks also staged events during the show.

Comments from Exhibitors:

Gary Kaiser, Marketing Manager, Robert Bosch Africa: “Our strategic objective was to meet independent workshops and we are pleased to say that we achieved this objective, and then some!”

Fred Bengsch, Director, Diesel-Electric (Rand): “The show was very successful for us. We aimed to reach into Africa and we had a lot of enquiries from trade visitors from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. Our stand position in the Futuroad hall was very good and we did not expect such strong visitation.”

Alexander Taftman, Product, Marketing, and Business Development Director; Scania South Africa: “A fresh new start of a B2B concept with great potential for future growth. It gives us a good opportunity to establish new contacts in the sub-Saharan African Region and it was worthwhile to be part of Futuroad Expo 2017.”

Johan Serfontein, Sales Director, SA Truck Bodies/Henred Fruehauf: “Quality of visits and more focused trade visitors made it worthwhile being part of the show. We’ll be back in 2019!”

Jacques Laubscher, Managing Director, Hidros SA: “Great to be part of a well organised exhibition. Our money and time was well spent and we had a very positive reaction from our Turkish suppliers and shareholders”

Bogdan Shestopalov, Commercial Director, Euro Africa Trade Solutions: “As an entrant to the Southern African market, we found our presence to be impactful and productive. The size of the show offered networking opportunities. We shall be back in 2019!”

Fanie Venter, Sales Manager, Eaton Truck Components SA: “We had many trade visitors from Africa and thanks go to the Automechanika Johannesburg team for the trade visitor promotion effort in Africa. Eaton’s brand awareness promotion was our mission and this was a huge success”

Andreas Hadjidimitriadis, Field Marketing Adviser, Exxon Mobil SA: “We have achieved our objective at the show and more. We’ll be back in 2019.”

Neil Butterworth, Marketing Manager, Anest Iwata: “We are happy with the leads generated at the show; it was worthwhile to participate”.

Christoff Cronjé, Director, Web Directories: “Absolutely amazing opportunity to network with industry related businesses and market our own. Being an exhibitor has been a priceless. We are definitely going bigger in 2019!”

Roberto Soares, Director, Trailer Sol: “First time exhibiting and we had a tremendous response and a lot of interest in the solar kits”

Giulio Fotia, Marketing Director, Wynn’s South Africa: “The show exceeded our expectations, it was better than 2015 with a lot more interest from local and African trade visitors. We’ll be back in 2019.”

Diane Govender, Sales Manager, Pointer SA: “It was definitely worthwhile. Very valuable leads generated.”

Awny Sadek, Managing Director, MCV South Africa: “Very successful Show; it gave us the opportunity to meet with all our high-profile customers and to get new customers. We are already planning our participation in 2019!”

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,300 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €647 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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