“Even in an increasingly digital world, everything comes down to people,” said Peter Wagner, Managing Director, Continental Aftermarket & Services at the Automechanika Frankfurt.
True to Wagner's statement, Automechanika Frankfurt, under its new format, saw over 78,000 visitors from 175 countries to experience products and services from workshops, industry and retail live and in person in five days.
Additionally, 2,804 companies from 70 countries exhibited their products and services across 19 hall levels and in the outdoor exhibition area.
Interestingly, Automechanika Frankfurt is returning to its biennial rotation and will once again be held every two years, with the next trade fair for the international automotive aftermarket taking place from 10 to 14 September 2024 on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.
A press release from Messe Frankfurt said, “The high level of visitor satisfaction of 92% demonstrates that the areas of focus at this year’s Automechanika are exactly what the industry was looking for: increasing digitalisation, remanufacturing, alternative drive systems and electromobility in particular present automotive workshops and retailers with major challenges.
The release continued that visitors showed a great deal of interest in the new ‘Innovation4Mobility’ showcase, which covered such topics as battery technology, alternative drive systems, hydrogen, solar technology, e-commerce and connected vehicles.
Interestingly, more than 350 events were on offer, including presentations given by new market participants and free workshops for automotive professionals.
Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board, Messe Frankfurt, said, “Things are clearly heading in the right direction. Together with our customers and our international partners, we are optimistic about the future: nothing can take the place of trade fairs.”
Participants also took full advantage of the new networking opportunities to finally meet with one another in person and make new business contacts, he noted.
Barun continued that the industry needs fresh insights and new ideas in these turbulent times. After all, the goal is to ensure that it will be possible for everyone to enjoy the safest, most sustainable, climate-friendly mobility in future.
Wanger noted, “Speaking to someone in person, visiting a stand, making your way through the exhibition halls, even shaking hands – none of these things can be replaced. Secondly, the industry's transformation has continued to accelerate.”
For instance, fields like digital services for workshops and alternative drive systems are more important than ever. As a forum for promising fields like these, Automechanika will be even more important in future because expertise is absolutely essential if workshops and dealers are to continue playing a major role, he continued.
Notably, GelKoh’s new recovery system for damaged e-cars won both an Automechanika Innovation Award and the Green Award, participated in the trade fair for the first time this year.
Markus Kohten, Technical Director, GelKoh GmbH, said, “We were able to meet a lot of our customers here, including major corporations like insurers, car dealers, recovery companies, even people from the fire brigade – 90% of our target groups, in other words.”
Jens Schüler, CEO, Automotive Aftermarket, Schaeffler AG, believes that Automechanika’s restart has been a complete success.
Numerous elements worked very well together this year, not only was the new ‘CEO Breakfast’ format a hit but there were lots of good events and considerably more visitors in the exhibition halls than we had expected, he stated.
David Mosch, Key Account Management, Professional Sales Automotive, Alfred Kärcher Vertriebs-GmbH, said, 'There were also large numbers of international visitors, which enabled us to make valuable new contacts for exports.'
“We are especially pleased by the two awards that we won: we were chosen as the best brand for both ‘cleaning and care’ and ‘car wash technology’. We appreciate the confidence everyone has placed in us. The event has been a complete success for us. Following five intense and exciting days, we are already looking forward to the next Automechanika,” Mosch added.
Meanwhile, Dr Florian Forster, Country Manager Germany, Alibaba.com, stated that the automotive aftermarket is an important category for the company and is likely to continue expanding further in the coming years.