"This is the third year that Dogan Trading of South Africa will be organising this major automotive event in partnership with Messe Frankfurt of Germany, which is one of the largest exhibition staging companies in the world," said show director Philip Otto. "I believe our show has matured since the first one was held in 2009 and can proudly take its place alongside the established shows that make up this famous global brand."
"Our show, which was staged in March 2009, just as the global economic downturn was hitting, was nevertheless the most successful Automechanika trade fair to be staged for the first time anywhere in the world. The second show, held in 2011, was even more successful, so we have certainly emerged from the learning curve stage and we believe this will be demonstrated with the staging of Automechanika Johannesburg next year."
The number of exhibitors was up 32% in 2011 to 547 companies, while there was a 10% increase in show visitors, rising to 9 036 last year.
Otto said the tough economic conditions in many parts of the world - especially Europe - was proving a boon for the automotive aftermarket industry as people were keeping their cars longer and often this meant maintenance and repairs were required. "I have just returned from Automechanika Dubai and the increased interest in the automotive aftermarket was very evident, with a 27% increase in the number of exhibitors at this important event in the hub of the Middle East."
Automechanika Johannesburg will again follow the international example of dividing the show into six categories: parts and systems; accessories and tuning; repairs and maintenance; IT and management; service stations and car wash; and safari and off-road vehicles. Tyres and batteries will also receive special focus. The South African event, which included a number of educational, training and skills development programmes in 2011, will expand this involvement next year in line with the lack of technicians and serviced specialists in the local automotive industry.
The expo offers the ideal opportunity for the country's aftermarket organisations to stage conferences and workshops. This will again include a major conference to be staged under the auspices of the Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI), which is one of the upcoming show's endorsing bodies.