Record numbers of global businesses seek UK aftermarket expertise

30 September 2010 #SMMT News

UK automotive suppliers benefitted from record numbers of international attendees at this year’s Automechanika Frankfurt trade show, representing companies looking to source aftermarket parts and solutions. Supported by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and coordinated by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK group was represented in almost every hall at the Messe in Frankfurt in September to secure further business opportunities and to represent the scope and strength of the UK supply chain.

According to the event’s organisers, around 155,000 visitors attended the trade show from 180 different countries, representing markets such as Germany, Italy, France, China, Russia and the US.
“This year’s show has highlighted the increasing demand for UK aftermarket expertise from markets all over the world,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. “UK manufacturing has a strong reputation for producing and supplying high quality aftermarket solutions and UK suppliers are seeing the value in trading globally. SMMT continues to support opportunities such as these which help to match-make UK businesses with international customers.”
SMMT made arrangements for 52 UK companies to exhibit at Automechanika Frankfurt, including facilitating a networking reception that was attended by representatives from UKTI Foreign Posts and many of the other trade associations and overseas groups.
SMMT also arranged for all eligible SME exhibitors to receive UKTI trade show grants to help the cost of attending. Many UK businesses reported significant new export business as a result of attending and are already making plans to attend in two years’ time as well as join SMMT International at a number of other international trade shows in the coming months.  
This year’s UK group was the largest ever and received positive feedback from companies commenting on the opportunities for UK automotive exporters.
Kevin Rooke, sales account manager at brake disc and brake drum supplier, Winnards, said: “During the show we collected 175 contact leads from companies all over the world including Russia, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Israel and just about every country in Europe. We have pulled in quite a bit of business already, including three new customers, one of whom has placed a firm order for over £50,000 for products that are already being despatched to Denmark. We have also picked up business from existing customers as a result of the face-to-face meetings we had at the show.”
“The level of interest in our re-manufactured common rail diesel engine product has been phenomenal. We have been getting enquiries from much further afield than ever before. Carwood was delighted with the show in all respects, the event itself and the support from the SMMT team were excellent. We have over 300 high quality business contacts to follow up with positive actions ranging from the standard ‘add to export mailing list’ through to agreed deals for national distribution of our products. The assistance in organisation, funding and administration were a great help to us as first time exhibitors and the practical aspects of translation services, meeting room and refreshments during the event were invaluable. Please put us down for 2012,” said Alan Baird, manager at Carwoods.
“It was the first time we had been to the show and we have had a very good result with good leads,” Minesh Dhutia, general manager at KS International. “We received interest from companies from all over Europe, as well as markets further afield including Malta and Brazil.”
Leigh Bramley, managing director at Merlin Diesel Systems said, “We have a list of over 600 potential customer contacts from enquiries received at the show as well as further interest from existing customers.” 
“The event was particularly helpful in consolidating our relationship with existing customers. Although Sussex Autoparts does not have a base in central Europe, we can utilise opportunities such as this to access customers under one roof as well as generate new ones,” said Alan Gadd, managing director of Sussex Autoparts.

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