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TRADE FAIR: Automechanika SA Extended from 3 to 4 Days


Recent Gauteng Business News

The organisers of the 2011 Automechanika South Africa trade fair for the automotive aftermarket, to be staged at Expo Centre, Nasrec, in March next year have decided to extend the duration of the show from three to four days following representations from exhibitors and interest groups.

“The show will now run from 9-12 March, which will include the Saturday as it appears this will be a good day for many visitors, some from outlying areas, to come to Expo Centre to attend the show as they are unable to get away from their businesses during the week,” explained the Show Director, Philip Otto. “The opening hours for the show will now be 09:00 to 18:00 from Wednesday to Friday and then 09:00 to 15:00 on the Saturday.”

Automechanika SA was staged in Johannesburg for the first time in 2009 and proved a big success, despite taking place at the time of the global economic turmoil. More than 20 countries are already listed among the exhibitors that have already booked space for the 2011 trade fair, including a number, such as Greece, Cyprus and the Seychelles that did not participate in 2009.

The upcoming event recently received a big boost from the CEO of the Automotive Industry Development Council, Barlow Manilal.

Endorsing the event he said: “The value derived from our previous experiences and participating in Automechanika SA in 2009 has provided a global platform for foreign direct investment and networking opportunities. It also provided immense value in determining the latest trends within the automotive sector, both locally and internationally.

“The AIDC would like to capitalise on the advantage of participating in Automechanika SA as the ideal platform for our Employment and Skills Development Agency (ESDA) graduation ceremony and also, to host a workshop for foreign delegates with the aim of emphasising the value proposition behind investing in SA’s automotive industry.

“It is highly recommended that all automotive organisations and government departments, and its agencies, who wish to focus on economic development, growth and foreign direct investment and export opportunities, participate in Automechanika SA,” concluded the AIDC’s senior executive.

The event already has the support of the Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI), National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (NAAMSA), the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC).

In 2009 Johannesburg became the 13th city in 12 countries in the world to stage an Automechanika trade fair, a brand that is jealously guarded by Frankfurt Messe, one of the largest exhibition organisers in the world.

The SA event exceeded all expectations. More than 400 companies staged indoor and outdoor displays that covered a gross floor area of 25 000m2, which made it the largest inaugural Automechanika to be staged since the brand went global about 10 years ago.

The original plans – made long before last year’s global economic downturn - had called for 250 exhibitors. Despite the tough financial environment this target was far exceeded by the 400 companies that came to the MTN Expo Centre. They were split about 50:50 between local and international exhibitors and came from South Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Arab world.

About 8 200 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.

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