UK visitors to Automechanika, the German components and accessories show, will find a distinctly homely feel to it this year. In addition to a 60-strong British group, led by SMMT and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the event will also feature the first ‘British Evening’, a reception to be held on 15 September.
As the leading European show of its kind, Automechanika attracts buyers from around the world. The British Evening will bring this audience to UK suppliers, giving home-grown talent the opportunity to find markets for their expertise on the global automotive stage.
To coincide with the event, SMMT’s international department plans to launch a new report called Opportunities in the German Aftermarket. Commissioned with UKTI, the report will offer an in-depth analysis of the largest aftermarket sector in Europe, as well as guidance on how to find opportunities and win business.
Automechanika is the latest in a line of SMMT work to bring international opportunities to UK aftermarket and component suppliers. Last year, SMMT hosted a series of seminars called The Road to Success in the US Aftermarket. These were followed up by the first British Group Visit to the AAIW (Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week) in Las Vegas for more than five years.
Last November, SMMT organised a meeting between 25 suppliers and five leading aftermarket distributors in Poland. Then, in July 2004, the international focus turned to Russia, as delegates from key car plants and distribution companies came to the UK to address more than 50 companies at seminars in London and Coventry. The message was a positive one – ‘Russia is open for business – but act quickly’. SMMT’s new Russian Automotive Market Report identifies the route to market, and the key contacts.
But SMMT isn’t just doing the business for the aftermarket abroad. On the home front progress has been made to develop a successful format for an Automotive Trade Show.
Working with partners, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Society of Operating Engineers (SOE), SMMT developed a model for a dedicated aftermarket and components event in 2004, running alongside the Commercial Vehicle Show. The 2004 CV Show and AT Show attracted 28,646 visitors, an increase from the 23,177 who came to the CV Show in 2003.
The next show, which runs at the NEC from 5-7 April 2005, will allow exhibitors to sell to both aftermarket visitors and fellow exhibitors running fleets of light and heavy commercial vehicles.
Commenting on SMMT’s expertise in aftermarket issues, chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘SMMT has an unrivalled record, working all year round, to deliver global success to UK-based aftermarket suppliers. We help to deliver real business benefits but perhaps we haven’t shouted as loudly as we could have in the past. Events like the British Evening at Automechanika and the development of ATS at CV Show will ensure that the sector continues to thrive into the future and raises its profile on the international stage.’
Automechanika takes place from 14–19 September 2004. For further information on the British Evening, contact Russ Murty on 020 7344 9229.