International Newsmaker Q&A: Thomas Aukamm

Jan. 1, 2020
Thomas Aukamm is the director, Automechanika Frankfurt.

Thomas Aukamm is the director, Automechanika Frankfurt.

How can an aftermarket product manufacturer benefit by exhibiting at the Frankfurt show?

Automechanika Frankfurt is the world’s leading trade fair for the automotive industry and therefore the largest platform for the aftermarket sector. Exhibiting companies benefit from getting in contact with more than 161,000 trade visitors from over 140 countries. Around 50 percent of these visitors are international. Therefore Automechanika is famous for its third-country business. Here in Frankfurt international exhibitors are trading with international visitors. Another benefit is the large number of visitors with decision-making authority within their companies. So, exhibitors can be sure not only to have lots of contact but also the right ones with a high level of quality.

How can an aftermarket product manufacturer benefit by attending the Frankfurt show?

Visitors attending Automechanika Frankfurt have the chance to meet more than 4,400 exhibitors. 80 percent of them are from over 80 countries outside Germany. There is no other trade fair having such a high degree of international exhibitors. Another benefit is the unparalleled breadth and depth of offered products at the fair. Nowhere else on the world you can find the whole industry being present at the same time on the same place. Coming to Frankfurt means to save yourself a trip around the world, instead of visiting dozens of national shows or customers. Automechanika is also famous for its wide range of innovations, especially in the aftermarket sector. Having the Automechanika Innovation award we give visitors a complete overview of all winners of this international recognised Award. Due account was taken of the importance of climate protection and sustainability with the ‘Green Directory’ for visitors, which was successfully launched in 2008. It offers a complete overview of environmentally friendly and emission-cutting products and services in all product groups. The Green Directory brochure and the ‘green logo’ on the floor of the exhibition halls show visitors the way to all exhibitors represented in the Green Directory and provide them with a summary of sustainable products to be found at the Automechanika.

How can an aftermarket retail and/or repair operation benefit by attending? Will there be chains exhibiting as well? Operations interested in establishing a presence in Germany? Or those wishing to reach American attendees?

Aftermarket retailers and repair operations have the unique chance to see the whole offer of the worldwide parts sector and source for their product portfolio. Yes, there will also be chains exhibiting, but the focus is directly on manufactures of all product groups (e.g. parts and components, equipment for vehicle service and repair, workshop equipment). Operations can find partners for establishing in Germany. But primary, manufacturers are looking for partners, such as distributors or sub-manufacturers, on a worldwide basis, not only in Germany. And of course you also find American attendees as potential clients or partners.

How strong has American participation, attendee and exhibitor, been in recent years?

At the last show in 2008 we had more than 1,700 attendees from the USA, an increase of over 10 percent compared to 2006 (1,550 visitors). With 151 exhibitors in 2008 the USA are the tenth strongest exhibitor nation (measured by exhibition space). Also the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service shows a high interest in Automechanika Frankfurt by granting its Trade Fair Certification to the show. Another strong support exhibitors and attendees receive is the participation of SEMA or MEMA and other important U.S. associations.

Is this expected to increase based on Advanstar’s involvement in promoting the event?

Of course all media promotions help to increase visitor and exhibitor numbers from the respecting country, so does Advanstar.

Are there new features being added this year that would be of interest to the American aftermarket?

A new feature of this year’s show will definitely be E-mobility and the refitting to electric operated cars. As this topic has a worldwide interest due to climate discussions and emission reduction it also has a high impact on the American aftermarket.

There are to be five U.S. pavilions at the event; what types of products and services will be represented?

Visitors find U.S. pavilions in the following halls and product groups:
Hall 1.1: Parts & Systems, hall 4.1: Accessories & Tuning (vehicle accessories, special equipment, tuning, performance systems, design refinement), hall 6.1: Parts & Systems (more heavy duty than 1.1), hall 9.0: Repair & Maintenance (diagnostic equipment, automotive lubricants, flushes, tire changers, automotive lifts, automotive repair machines, etc), hall 9.1: Repair & Maintenance (oils, lubricants, industrial and consumer automotive fluids, automotive chemicals and additive, etc).

The two other product groups at Automechanika are Service Station & Car Wash and IT & Management.

How does an aftermarket company make arrangements to be a part of a pavilion’s exhibit?

Companies interested in participating at the pavilion can just contact our office in Atlanta. The colleagues will be their personal point of contact for all Automechanika related topics and questions. You can contact them for more information on any of the 14 Automechanika events produced around the world, or you may also visit Under the following link you find the Application Form for the USA Pavilion:
Bridget Ferris
Sales & Marketing Manager
[email protected]
Tel: 678-732-2426

How does an aftermarket company make arrangements for its employees to attend the event?

For attending the show you can contact our colleagues in Atlanta as well. There you receive tickets and all information about Automechanika Frankfurt and how to get there. Or just visit our Web site Here you find all you need for coming to Frankfurt under “for visitors.” You can also buy your tickets online or find the right place to stay at one of many Frankfurt Hotels.

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