Tag Archive | "automechanika Birmingham"

AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM HIGHLIGHTS 2017

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AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM HIGHLIGHTS 2017


This year’s Automechanika Birmingham show attracted over 800 exhibitors and 12,000 visitors including garages, motor factors and parts retailers.

With the extra hall space and longer opening hours meant aftermarket professionals had more opportunities to discover new technology, learn new skills and network with other industry experts.

For those who missed out  can watch show highlights in the video below and get a sneak peak into the third edition taking place next year.

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AUTOMECHANIKA IN REVIEW

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AUTOMECHANIKA IN REVIEW


For us at the magazine, it is funny to think that 2017 was only the second time Automechanika has taken place at the NEC, such is the amount that we have written and speculated about it. Nonetheless, this is only the second time the show has happened here, and it seems much of the aftermarket holds an opinion about it.

For me, the proceedings started the day before the event as SMMT had invited a handful of journalists to dinner at a nearby country pile to talk about the show, the aftermarket and the motor industry in general. One interesting stat that Chief Exec Mike Hawes raised was that the British public now spend more online on car accessories than they do on cosmetics. I haven’t been able to verify this yet, and I suspect it includes replacement tyres and servicing booked online, but even so it goes to show that the new generation of motorists are less willing to do things the old way. A point to ponder perhaps.

After the show was opened, complete with ribbon cutting and the traditional comedy big scissors (I wonder where they come from?) the show got underway and we grab show organiser Simon Albert for a few words. As the show had only just opened, he didn’t have much to tell us that we didn’t already know, such as the longer opening hours, increase in aisle space etc. However, he did confirm his hit list of companies that he’d like to see attending in the future and, of most significance to us, confirmed that the show would return next year.

On the Valeo stand

This surprised me a little, as I’d assumed that the show would become biennial in the years that the Frankfurt show was not held. However, I was keen to get going as my appointment book was full and I was running late before I had even started.

The first visit took me across Hall 19 and into Hall 20 where I could have a quick look at some of the stands as I scurried past. Liqui Moly and Auto Repar had particularly amazing looking stands. Schaeffler had used a space right next to the main entrance to build a gleaming white stage where cutaway versions of various products had been mounted on plinths for the reps to demonstrate. Valeo meanwhile, had approached the concept of having a stand in a different way, as it had simply brought a huge truck and trailer kitted out with demonstration models of various things into the hall.

MEANDERING
I won’t trouble you with the details of every meeting I had or what everyone said, except that on the first day a number of stands reported that footfall seemed a little low, which could be down to appalling weather that day as well as a crash blocking one of the motorways near the NEC that may have put some off attending. I should add that if the attendance was low on the first day, I didn’t notice it. From my point of view, Hall 19, where I spent the bulk of the time, seemed annoyingly busy with meandering people with a tendency to stop in front of me filling the aisles.

It was pleasing to see that many exhibitors had brought in things other than their products to keep people amused. Sales-i brought an Out Run arcade machine for example (a game that I spent too much time on in my youth). Denso brought a VR racing car simulator, which I quite fancied trying out, but decided not to as the racing driver Rebecca Jackson was looking on, and I had no wish to humiliate myself. Other stands brought various cars and bikes from series that they sponsor as well as the usual show novelties.

Holding an event after the show is always a risk, because while there will be a ready supply of people in the industry who are in the same place, there is no telling that they will be in the mood to go somewhere else after spending a day at the show. Even if they do, there is every chance that someone else has invited them first. With this in mind, I was curious to see how many people went to an event held by Motaquip at Warwick Castle on the first night. The answer as it turned out was a lot of people as the event was full. It was one of the more fun events that we’ve been to, with two apparently empty suits of armour jumping off the wall and alarming diners by staging a battle between the tables.

STAGES
Back at the show the following day I would have liked to have had more time to attend some of the industry and technical seminars that were taking place on a number of stages across the halls. Big names from the world of diagnostics including Frank Massey and James Dillon had been brought in as a lure to get technicians to the show (which by all accounts worked) while the heads of the garage associations talked about the various threats and opportunities du jour in the aftermarket. I did manage to get over to hear the winner of the Garage of the Year announced, which turned out to be Motorserv UK, which readers who have been paying close attention might recall we visited this time last year.

One notable absence from the show was TMD Friction (who are on record saying that they have ‘no plans’ to exhibit). However, the company did rent a plaza suite just outside of the main halls to hold a Pagid Live event in association with Euro Car Parts where a number of garage owners and technicians (the majority of whom had been brought down for the event) who, after a day at the show spend a couple of hours enjoying presentations on the benefits of the Pagid Expert programme and on ECPs garage scheme (see Hot Story).

If your reason for visiting the show was to find new products, you wouldn’t have been disappointed. Delphi brought a new bit of diagnostic kit for high- pressure injectors, European Exhaust and Catalyst introduced a 6-in-1 fuel system cleaner at the show and in a similar vein, Forté launched a 4-in-1 cleaning machine. Essentra Components launched something called a ‘High Tech Fluid Absorption Plug’ and I’m sure there were many other things never before seen at the event.

Throughout the show, I spent most of my time in the three aftermarket halls, but on the final day I had a meeting with Stericycle (a company that manages recalls for the VMs) and so I spent a while exploring the area dedicated to the automotive supply chain. It was markedly quieter than the aftermarket halls, although it should be noted that while the supply chain market as a whole is huge and worth big money, the number of buyers within it is relatively small, and stands dealing with VM services were of little interest to technicians, so it might be unfair to judge its success on the amount of feet in the room alone.

‘Billy’ character on Bosch stand

However, the highlight of the show for me came late in the afternoon on the final day when Helen Watkins from Bosch, who was manning the Extra stand, was accosted by a strange small man who kept offering her some of his special ‘home made’ sweets, much to the amusement of onlookers – apparently he’d been coming on the stand and doing this at various points throughout the show. However, just when Helen couldn’t stand the embarrassment anymore, the fellow took off what turned out to be a wig and false teeth to reveal himself as a well known customer of the firm. Apparently, his alter-ego ‘Billy No-Mates’ is a character that he regularly performs for some of his unsuspecting suppliers, and it was much to the amusement of the crowd that had built up.

It was almost time for us to leave in order to high-tail it back to London while there was still time to vote (remember that?) One point that is inescapable is the topic of the show frequency. As a conservative guess, I reckon I spoke to 40 company bosses during the show and the overwhelming majority said that they thought the show should run once every two years, preferably during the non- Frankfurt years in order to keep costs reasonable and keep the momentum of the show. From the point of view of the whole CAT team, we could have happily stayed there for a month if we could – there were so many people to see. However, I’m always curious to know the experience of our readers. Did you go? Were you exhibiting? What were the highlights, and what would you have liked to have seen? Give me a shout at greg.whitaker@haymarket.com.

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MINI DUCTOR VENOM SHOWCASES AT AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF INDUCTION INNOVATIONS

The highly innovative version of the Mini-Ductor® induction heating tool, the Venom™, will be demonstrated on the Sykes-Pickavant stand, 17A9, at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham.

The Mini-Ductor® Venom™ generates Invisible Heat® to release ferrous and some non-ferrous metals from corrosion and thread lock compounds without the dangers of an open flame. The tool can be used for a wide variety of applications and 19mm nuts are turned hot in around 15 seconds.

Tom Gough, President of Induction Innovations, Inc. the tool’s manufacturer says, “Venom’s features allows users to repair vehicles and equipment faster, safer and more profitably, and to salvage parts normally discarded.”

Visitors to Automechanika will be able to see the tool in action, in a controlled working environment. Rob Hawker, Product Development and Training Manager for Sykes-Pickavant says, “This is a truly unique tool – a must have for automotive technicians. We’re looking forward to showing visitors how it will help transform the way they work.”

Special coils offer
All Mini-Ductor® Venom™ orders placed by the end of April 2017 will come with a free coil kit worth £125 + VAT. Place your order and claim your free coil kit by calling 01953 859138 or emailing info@theinductor.co.uk

To watch an overview of the Venom™ in action, visit The Inductor UK’s YouTube channel and view the product spec at www.theinductor.co.uk

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NEXT AUTOMECHANIKA UK ’70 PERCENT RESERVED’

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NEXT AUTOMECHANIKA UK ’70 PERCENT RESERVED’


Space at next year’s edition of Automechanika Birmingham is already 70 per cent reserved, according to show organisers.

The show, which finished yesterday, was deemed to have been a success, with the number of visitors meeting expectations. A visitor feedback survey was also conducted at the show, the results of which will be available in due course.

“I’m delighted with the visitor numbers – absolutely over the moon” said Simon Albert, Show Director. “We were always confident that this would be a success because the whole industry jumped at the chance to be part of the exhibition.”

“We had over 14,000 pre-registrations and we had quite a sharp increase on the Friday and the Monday before the show”.

Next year’s edition will take place in halls 17-20 of the NEC, with potential exhibitors offered an ‘earlybird’ discount before this week’s show had even started.

* Don’t miss our full show coverage in the July issue of CAT.

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AUTOMECHANIKA B’HAM DIRECTOR INTERVIEW

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AUTOMECHANIKA B’HAM DIRECTOR INTERVIEW


Why Birmingham?

<A> For us it was a no-brainer.. There are a lot of people in the UK who want to attend an aftermarket or supply chain exhibition, but at the moment have to go to Frankfurt. It’s time and money to get over there. What we are offering is the opportunity to get to a show that is only an hour or two (OK, if you live in Cornwall its further, but you can do it in a day) It costs you only your petrol and a limited amount of your time. You could attend the show just for a morning if you were really pushed for time.

I know that Messe Frankfurt did a lot of analysis on this and clearly it is a risk to hold two shows in Europe in the same year, but the analysis showed that this wouldn’t happen. Frankfurt has more exhibitors than ever this year despite the fact that Birmingham is on. Perhaps a few of the smaller companies have made a decision between the two, but next year there is no decision to make as there is no Frankfurt show.

Historically NEC aftermarket shows haven’t worked well. Why will AM B’ham be different?

<A> It’s all about the brand. It has stuck me since we announced this show is that the brand is so well known. This isn’t just the world’s largest automotive trade show – it is the world’s largest trade show brand in any product category. So when people see the Automechanika brand it gives them confidence because we consistently deliver great trade shows around the world. They know that they are coming to something that is a trusted event and will deliver what they are hoping for.

Is it sustainable to run a show of this size in the UK every year?

<A> We know there was demand in the first place to run an annual show. The analysis was done and our partners at SMMT felt there was real demand for an annual show. That said, we will run the show as often as the industry demands it – and over the next few years we will see what the demand is.

 

Did you ask potential visitors what the wanted, and who they wanted to meet at the show ahead of launch?

<A> Research into what the exhibitors and visitors want is key. Because this is a launch event, we have surveyed all of the exhibitors about whom they want to meet at the event and what they want out of them. In the aftermarket, it was very clear who that was so it enabled us to build our marketing plans and build a seminar programme to attract them to the event. However, it was very clear to us that it was the exhibitors [rather than just seminars or other programmes] that draw visitors in the UK to an event.

Was it difficult to draw the floorplan without upsetting some people?

<A> We treated it as a level playing field. It was a case of first come first served. Obviously some of the bigger stands are at the front of the halls, so that was the only thing that we did plan. The great thing about the way the plan is organised is that it will encourage visitors to walk the whole of the three floors and to really browse. While we expect them to plan who they are going to see to an extent, we really want them to browse and talk to the wide array of exhibitors that we have.

I realise the show is not as big as Frankfurt –

<A> Well, not this year! We’ll organise the exhibitors according to product categories, the country they’re from and supply chain and aftermarket.

 

 This is a VM supply chain show as well as an aftermarket show. Do you see one putting the other off?

<A> I don’t see any putting off of people whatsoever. I think it’s great to get the whole industry together. Other Automechanika’s have this offering as well and it’s something the industry has been crying out for.

What steps have you taken to ensure the ‘high rollers’ of the aftermarket buying groups attend?

<A> We’ve seen already that some of the usual suspects in the aftermarket have registered, but yes, we want to make sure we want to make sure they turn out in numbers. In fact we’d love all of the individual branches of the major motor factors to come along, because the opportunity for these branches is to meet the parts manufacturers face to face and be able to touch the products. From that perspective we sometimes don’t get to hear from the horse’s mouth and for the distributors and motor factors they can learn about some of the products and services from the manufacturers directly. In turn this will help them sell the products to their customers.

The exhibitors have said to us that they don’t just want to meet the big buyers – they want to sell to people indirectly.

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AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM AFTERMARKET SEMINARS


PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF THE ORGANISER OF AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM

SUZI PERRY Q AND AS 12:30 TESDAY 7 JUNE, KEYNOTE SEMINAR THEATRE

SUZI PERRY Q AND AS 12:30 TUESDAY 7 JUNE, KEYNOTE SEMINAR THEATRE

Automechanika Birmingham will be the home to more than 550 high calibre businesses over the course of three days, from the 7th to the 9th June 2016. As an important part of the visitor experience, the organisers have arranged a series of informative seminars that will examine a wide range of important issues facing both the aftermarket and supply chain.

The aftermarket focussed seminars will be presented by prominent figures and organisations from within the industry and will provide insight, explore the challenges and reveal the opportunities effecting the future of the aftermarket.

The seminars will be presented across three theatres, the Keynote Theatre sponsored by Morris Lubricants, the Aftermarket Theatre sponsored by Aftermarket magazine and the Technical Theatre, with Workshops for the Aftermarket organised by autotechnician magazine and sponsored by TecRMI. The programme of events begins at 10:30 and runs to 16:15 on Tuesday, 10:00 to 16:15 on Wednesday and on Thursday from 10:00 to 13:50: for full details of the entire programme, please visit the Automechanika Birmingham website.

  • Among the aftermarket specific presentations is ‘The workshop of the future: how data is shaping servicing and diagnostics’ by Max Lienard, Autodata, on Tuesday 7th at 11:00.
  • Ian Gillgrass is also giving a presentation on Tuesday on ‘The rise of autonomous technology; what it means for the automotive industry’ at 14:20.
  • The final aftermarket focussed seminar of the Tuesday is Adam Bernstein’s ‘The impact of regulations on business’ at 15:40.
  • On Wednesday, Wendy Williamson of the IAAF, will be giving a seminar at 10:30 on the ‘Challenges facing the automotive aftermarket’.
  • The DVSA will be presenting the latest developments in their seminar of ‘Modernisation of MOT training’ at 11:15.
  • ‘Safeguarding your business: dispute resolution and key updates on consumer legislation’ will be given at 13:40 by Mark Hallam of Motor Codes.
  • There will also be a selection of seminars focussing on the effect technology will have in the aftermarket. First on Wednesday, is HELLA’s Neil Hilton presenting ‘Overcoming the challenges of ADAS’ at 11:20. There will then be a seminar on ‘The impact of technology in the retail sector’ given by Professor Jim Saker at 13:00. Finally in this section will be Prashant Chopra, Autogem, at 15:40 on the subject of ‘TPMS, a tidal wave of challenge and opportunity’.
  • The first aftermarket based seminar on the closing day, Thursday 9th, will be given by Steve Scofield, IMI, at 10:00 on ‘The changing world for Vehicle Testing Stations – MOT requirements demystified’.
  • Also at 10:00, Shaun Greasley of TecAlliance will give a seminar on ‘Supporting the independent’.
  • The penultimate seminar concentrating solely on the aftermarket is ‘Vehicle systems integration’ presented by Paul Grosvenor, MAHLE, at 10:40.

Posted in Emma Butcher's Blog, Factor & Supplier News, Greg Whitaker's diary, NewsComments (0)

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