FRANKFURT - Growing numbers of non-German exhibitors are coming to the Automechanika aftermarket trade show that starts Tuesday 15 September.
The biennial event, which is open for six days, is the largest parts and accessories show in Europe. The 3,802 exhibitors this year in the huge Frankfurt fairgrounds mark a 10.7 percent increase from 1996.
The show has a heavy national flavor, but the percent of exhibitors headquartered in Germany has dropped from 31.4 percent to 29.9 percent. More than 1,000 exhibitors come from outside western Europe. The show is expected to attract 150,000 visitors.
Eight halls are devoted to automotive parts under the OEM label, but they are aimed at the aftermarket. Companies like Ford's Visteon, which is trying to raise its profile with European manufacturers, is not attending.
Still, the show does attract some top executives from parts makers who are also OEM suppliers.
Parts and service are big business. ZDK is the major association of German dealers and distributors. It estimates that German dealers and aftermarket specialists will invest around DM 6 billion
($3.4 billion) in aftermarket equipment in the next two years.
Big suppliers will be focusing on service improvements and technology transfers from original equipment development to the aftermarket.
Delphi, for example, is showing a new battery range called Delphi Standard. It is based on innovations of the technology in the Delco Freedom batteries. The Standard will also be available for purchasers to brand as their own.
Bosch also has a new aftermarket battery with 20 percent improved life. It will also show a new carbon air filter for passenger compartments, a new exhaust gas analyzer for garages and other diagnostic equipment.
The Kolbenschmidt Pierburg group, which is exhibiting as a combined group for the first time, is looking to raise the profile of its Pierburg business in the aftermarket.
It is launching new exhaust gas recirculating valves, which have primarily been an OE product, for the aftermarket. The company is also showing some of its new OE products such as intank modules for the Mercedes-Benz A-class and EGR for the Mercedes-Benz M-class.
Eberspaecher is introducing an enhanced range of heater controls.
ITT Automotive is showing an improved version of its aftermarket ATE PowerDisc brake disk.
VDO is showing its Detektor vehicle tracking system from its Kienzle division. The retrofit system is a non-satellite-based radio system for tracking vehicles, even underground or in containers.
Automechanika is organized by Messe Frankfurt in association with the ZDK and the accessories importers association, the ASA. They are planning a new trade fair in Berlin on alternate years between the Frankfurt Automechanika. French suppliers sponsor their biennial EquipAuto in Paris, also on the odd-numbered years.