Automechanika Frankfurt’s new formats and extensive programme were very well received by international automotive professionals. 78.000 visitors from 175 countries came to the industry’s leading platform in Frankfurt to experience products and services from workshops, industry and retail live and in person. In fact, these past five days are the fullest the exhibition grounds have been since the restart in Frankfurt.

2,804 companies from 70 countries exhibited their products and services across 19 hall levels and in the outdoor exhibition area. Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt: “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. The strong international component amongst exhibitors from 70 countries and visitors from 175 countries alike makes it clear that the international automotive aftermarket is back in Frankfurt. Participants also took full advantage of the new networking opportunities to finally meet with one another in person and make new business contacts.”

The high level of visitor satisfaction of 92% clearly 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. For the first time, there were more than 350 events on offer, including presentations given by new market participants and free workshops for automotive professionals.

CEOs from leading key players put on a strong showing at the CEO Breakfast event sponsored by ZF Aftermarket on the first day of the trade fair. In a ‘fireside chat’ format, Formula One professionals Mika Häkkinen and Mark Gallagher supplied fascinating insights for an industry that is changing faster than ever. Detlef Braun explained: “In these turbulent times, the industry needs fresh insights and new ideas. 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.”

Peter Wagner, Managing Director, Continental Aftermarket & Services:
“Automechanika made two things very clear. Firstly, even in an increasingly digital world, everything comes down to people. 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. Fields like digital services for workshops and alternative drive systems, for instance, 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.”

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.

It was striking just how many young visitors came to the trade fair to find out more about the training and career opportunities on offer in the automotive aftermarket. This year marked the first time that the recently established Talents4AA association, a non-profit organisation that aims to attract talented specialists and newcomers to the automotive aftermarket, has appeared at Automechanika Frankfurt. And their appearance was a big success: the association significantly increased its membership rolls during the five-day event. Stéphane Freitas, General Secretary of Talents4AA: “The trade fair was an excellent opportunity for networking, and the association received excellent feedback from its industry members. ADI, Bilstein Group, Continental, Misfat Group, NRF and SKF are some of the companies that officially joined the Talents4AA initiative during Automechanika Frankfurt. I am certain that we will be welcoming many more new members after the trade fair is over.”

German company GelKoh GmbH, whose 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. As Markus Kohten, Technical Director of GelKoh GmbH, put it: “The trade fair went really well for us. 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. We are very particular about which trade fairs we take part in, and we are already considering participating in the next Automechanika.”

Tiemo Sehon, Managing Director, Innovative Lackieranlagen GmbH: “In partnership with Premiotherm, we presented one of our systems at Automechanika. This system makes it possible to achieve carbon neutrality in painting and bodywork centres with painting systems – systems that often use a great deal of energy. In light of the current energy supply situation, this is an important issue for all workshops. The trade fair has been a complete success for us: we met visitors from every country imaginable, and thanks to these new contacts we can move full speed ahead with our international expansion.”

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