With seven months until the event, more than 400 exhibitors have already joined the inaugural Automechanika exhibition in the U.K. First planned in one hall, the event now spans three, taking up more than 21,000-square-meters (226,042.12-square-feet) of space at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). The initial expectations for number of visitors and exhibitors have been doubled due to the large interest in the event.
Almost all the big names in the industry are participating — from Schaeffler, Delphi, Denso, Valeo, 3M, TRW, ZF Friedrichshafen, NGK, MANN+HUMMEL, Robert Bosch, Tetrosyl and Yokohama as well as more than 70 international exhibitors. National pavilions from Italy, Spain, China and Taiwan will show visitors companies looking to export to the U.K.
Simon Albert, event director for event organizer Forest Exhibitions, commented, “What is particularly pleasing to see is the broad support from both supply chain and aftermarket companies. More than 50 percent of our exhibitors are targeting OEM, Tier 1 and Tier 2 business. Traditionally Automechanika serves the aftermarket, but because of the unique business climate in the U.K., we have added the supply chain side of the business to our aftermarket offering, and this has been really well received.”
A predicted 500 exhibitors will be in place for the June event. Michael Johannes, brand manager of Automechanika, drew a comparison, “In terms of Automechanika launches around the globe, Birmingham will have a bigger first year than Shanghai, Dubai and Istanbul. Only our big brother in Frankfurt had a bigger first year. And this really demonstrates the demand from the industry for an encompassing event and that we have the right brand in Automechanika.”
The SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders) announced earlier this month that it will host two major industry events at Automechanika Birmingham, the Open Forum and Meet the Buyer, a high-level conference and scheduled meeting program, targeting the supply chain. In addition, SMMT says it is looking at several other conference initiatives. Albert commented, “These events give our visitors excellent opportunities to combine networking with our long list of exhibitors, alongside first-class educational content.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “The U.K. automotive supply chain is going from strength to strength, and SMMT will be doing its part to promote the sector when we host next year’s Meet the Buyer at Automechanika Birmingham. British suppliers offer quality, value and innovation, with the added benefits of sourcing locally, reduced logistics costs and reduced risk. Meet the Buyer has always been a must-attend for automotive purchasers and suppliers alike — and Automechanika Birmingham will provide the perfect context for the 2016 event.”
Britain’s car manufacturers have also been quick to lend support to Automechanika, with Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Vauxhall/GM and Ford all releasing positive messages of support and interest in the event, according to show organizers.
Automechanika Birmingham will take place from June 7-9, 2016, in halls 9, 10 and 11 at the NEC Birmingham.