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EXPO: New Initiatives to Join 2011 Automechanika SA Programme


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There will be plenty to interest truck and transport operators at Automechanika South Africa, to be staged at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, from March 9-12, 2011.

“Although there will not be a specific truck and related products display area, as was the case at the inaugural Automechanika SA in 2009, there will be participation from truck makers and distributors as well as many aftermarket products related to this important sector of the SA automotive environment,” said show director Philip Otto.

“One major manufacturer, Scania, has already signed up to use the event as a launching pad for a new product while we are talking to a number of other truck manufacturers and distributors to get their direct involvement in this important international trade fair.

There was a wide range of replacement parts, accessories and equipment for trucks and buses on display at last year’s premier global Automechanika exhibition in Frankfurt and this segment of the automotive world will certainly not be neglected at the South African event.

Exhibitors displaying truck-related parts and equipment at this year’s Automechanika SA at Expo Centre in March will include DT Diesel Technic, BPW axles, SAF Holland, TSE Big Max, Transport Technologies, Africa Truck Parts and Transport Technologies.

Many of the big-hitters in the local and international automotive aftermarket have signed agreements to participate already. These include companies of the stature of Robert Bosch, Diesel Electric, ABB South Africa, Hella Automotive, LiquiMoly, GUD, the Midas Group, Mercedes-Benz SA and Diesel Technic (DT).

International interest is running high as the global automotive market recovers from the economic downturn of 2008/9. Already 350 companies from 25 countries have signed up as exhibitors, making it a South African exhibition with arguably the highest number of participating international companies from the largest number of countries.

Next year’s show will introduce many new initiatives as well as continuing with proven projects such as the Innovation Awards that proved very popular at the inaugural trade fair at this venue in 2009.

Importantly a lot of attention is being paid to upskilling and training as the shortage of skilled workers is a major challenge in the automotive industry.
These activities will involve a skills competition organised by the Merseta in conjunction with the Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI), which is one of the major supporters of this bi-annual event in Johannesburg. Midas will be promoting its e-learning and learnership programmes, while Bosch will be offering a number of job opportunities in conjunction with Merseta as well as hosting a technology demonstration centre with its associated brands.

There will also be a number of conferences and meetings for various interest groups.

The major conference will be that of the RMI, where topics will include the new Consumer Protection and Companies Acts, franchising, skills development and compulsory vehicle and emissions testing. It will be held on the Thursday.

The RMI has lined up top speakers for the various topics:

* Brandon Cohen, Group Compliance Manager at Associated Motor Holdings will make a presentation on the implications of the new Consumer Protection act and recently-promulgated Code of Good Practice.
* Dr Johan Erasmus, of auditing firm Deloittes will give the inside track on the new Companies Act.
* Prof. Kobus Malan, an expert on franchising and business law will discuss Franchising: The Gateway to Business Growth.
* Anton Molden, Environmental Advisor to the SA Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) and a panel of experts will discuss “Cleaner fuels for the SA motor industry.”
* There will also be presentations on emission control and compulsory periodic testing of motor vehicles as well as on skills development.

In addition, there will be a joint convention for members of the Motor Industry Workshop association (MIWA). Engine Remanufacturing Association (ERA) and the SA Diesel Fuel Injection Association (SADFIA) on the Wednesday.

The SA Motor and Body Repairers' Association (SAMBRA) is having a conference over a day and a half on the Wednesday and Thursday, while the Tyre Dealers and Fitment Centre Association (TDAFA) will have an executive committee meeting on the Thursday afternoon as well as a road show event the following day.

The organisers of Automechanika SA are sponsoring a number of other achievement awards besides the existing competition for innovations. These include an Aftermarket Marketer of the Year, an Aftermarket Entrepreneur of the Year, Trade and Technical Writer of the Year, Motoring Photographer of the Year and awards for environmental (“Green”) achievements.

The Proudly South African showcase, which proved very popular at the 2009 show, will be expanded substantially to include component manufacturers as well as local makers of specialist cars.
Meanwhile the organisers of Automechanika South Africa have announced aggressive plans to make this second staging of the world famous brand name even more successful than the inaugural event in 2009.

Major effort is aimed at making the event more attractive to visitors – both from South Africa itself and to those from the target market on the African continent. This includes the compilation of a detailed database of potential visitors from Africa as these people are seen as a very important market into the future.

The South Africa Department of Trade and Industry is providing financial support to assist the organisers in bringing Africa trade visitors from Africa to the event


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