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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  31 Mar 2009

Motoring: First AUTOMECHANIKA SA Exceeds Expectations


Recent Gauteng Business News

Automechanika South Africa, 18 - 21 March 2009

The first Automechanika South Africa, held at the Expo Centre, Johannes­burg from March 18-21, exceeded all expectations. More than 400 companies put on indoor and outdoor displays that covered a gross display area of 25 000m2 , making it the biggest inaugural Automechanika automotive aftermarket trade fair since the brand went global about 10 years ago.

Johannesburg is now the 13th city in 12 countries to stage an Automechanika trade fair for the automotive aftermarket.
The original plans – made long before last year’s global economic downturn - had called for 250 exhibitors. This target was far exceeded by the 400 companies that came to Expo Centre, near Johannesburg’s new World Cup soccer stadium. They were split about 50:50 between local and international exhibitors and came from South Africa, 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.

“We are very pleased with the support we got from so many exhibitors, because they were actually pioneers in a new venture in South Africa, which underlines the strength of an established global brand such as Automechanika that dates back to 1971,” commented the show director of Automechanika SA, Philip Otto.

“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.

The participating companies and organisations exhibited and demonstrated a wide variety of products for the workshop and replacement parts segments, as well as automotive accessories and vehicle washing products and equipment. There were also a number of automotive service providers and allied industries represented, including several from the trucking and transport industries.

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.

Detlef Braun, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt, which owns the Automechanika brand, said: “With Automechanika South Africa we have 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 it was supported by a number of prominent global companies such as ABB, ZF, Liqui Moly, Bosch, Diesel Technic, Tenneco and Castrol. This underscores the high quality of the fair.”

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