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Automechanika back in SA in 2011

To avoid the recession aftermath and a clash with 2010 soccer, Automechanika South Africa will take place from 9-12 March 2011 at MTN Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg. This follows the successful inaugural 2009 show, which saw Johannesburg became the 13th city in 12 countries in the world to stage an Automechanika automotive aftermarket trade fair.
This agreement between brand owner Messe Frankfurt and local organiser Dogan Trading was announced on Tuesday 8 December 2009.

“This means that the second edition of the show will benefit from being staged at a venue that has undergone a R30-million revamp, with much-improved facilities to the benefit of both exhibitors and visitors,” said show director Philip Otto.

”We have once again received support from major industry organisations for the 2011 fair, including the National Association of Automobile manufacturers of SA (NAAMSA), Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI), Automotive Industry Export Council (AECI) and the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers' (NAACAM).

“Internationally, we also have backing from Automechanika's global partners, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and the European Garage Equipment Association (EGEA).

High demand at 2009 show

The inaugural show exceeded all expectations. The original plans - made long before last year's global economic downturn - called for 250 exhibitors. Despite the tough financial environment, this target was far exceeded by the 400 companies that staged indoor and outdoor displays that covered a gross display area of 25 000m2 , making it the biggest inaugural Automechanika automotive aftermarket trade fair to be staged since the brand went global about 10 years ago.

Detlef Braun, member of the management board of Messe Frankfurt said, “With the South African show, we added another potent event to our family of high quality trade fairs. It is one of the brand's major global premières and we were delighted that a number of prominent global companies such as ABB, ZF, Liqui Moly, Bosch, Diesel Technic, Tenneco and Castrol supported it. This underscores the high quality of the fair.”

About 8200 trade visitors, many of them vehicle manufacturers, dealers, workshop proprietors, forwarding agents and investors visited the show over the four days. They came primarily from the sub-Saharan countries in Africa, although there were a number of overseas visitors.

Exhibitors were split about 50:50 between local and international exhibitors and came from Asia, Europe, South America and the Arab world.

Many of the foreign companies took advantage of the trade fair to gain access to the South African market. For some, this was their first time in the country. Others came with the aim of further developing their working relationship with existing customers in South Africa, while also looking for additional markets.

“The standard of many of the displays was outstanding and the overall atmosphere was one of professionalism. The overseas visitors seemed most impressed because for many of them it was their first visit to the African continent and they did not know what to expect,” added Otto.

Award for 2009 show

The Exhibition and Event Association of SA (EXSA) was also impressed by this show and the show was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2009 trade shows of more than 12 000m2 floor space at EXSA's annual awards function, held at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand on 19 November 2009.

Frankfurt show looking good

Stephan Kurzawski, brand manager from Frankfurt Messe, is upbeat about prospects for his brand's flagship to be held in Frankfurt from 14-19 September 2010.

Kurzawski, who was on a business visit to South Africa recently, said that his sales team was delighted at the response from potential exhibitors despite the continuing economic pressures on the motor industry. “The sale of exhibition space is running at a similar rate to that at the corresponding time before the successful 2008 show,” he added.

Earlier this year the exhibition brand signed an agreement with EGEA, which has resulted in this trade organisation actively promoting Automechanika events worldwide.

The German show is held every two years in Frankfurt.

Online excitement

A new website promoting the Frankfurt fair has been launched to take viewer on an interactive road show through a metropolis of mobility - the new key visual for Automechanika - to the accompaniment of rock music. The stylised city - known as the Metropolis of Mobility - has been built from various motor vehicle components and items of workshop equipment, which all “come alive.” View it at

On the South African scene, Otto, local show director states, “We have already updated the local website - - and it includes an attractive, downloadable calendar featuring photographs taken at all 13 of the global Automechanika trade fairs; the calendar goes from January 2010 - where three South African models, posing at the MTN Expo Centre, are featured - to January 2011.”

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