Reflections on Automechanika
The dust has settled and Automechanika Birmingham has been wrapped up for another year. Connections have been made, business is being done. It’s time to reflect on one of the biggest UK based automotive events in the calendar.
Our team attended all three days of Automechanika Birmingham as delegates, with the goal to support existing clients, meet potential new ones, absorb new technologies and develop a clear steer on the direction of the UK automotive industry.
Our initial impression and response (after Wow – this is BIG!), was how buoyant the automotive industry remains to be. Despite political uncertainty and the ever-present shadow of Brexit, there was a general upbeat, optimistic atmosphere and, typically British consensus to just get on with it. The aftermarket, in particularly, is thriving and dominated this year’s event. The automotive supply chain was also represented at Automechanika, but somehow seemed to lack cohesion and definition. I found myself wandering the isles of the Supply chain area, visiting the exhibitors but not coming away with too much information. A shining star within the Supply Chain was, unsurprisingly, the SMMT booth. Automechanika’s emphasis is definitely on aftermarket, and that’s great but personally, I’d like to see this balanced out somewhat in future events.
A new addition to this year’s event was the SMMT Technology Zone, dedicated to, and displaying connected and digital automotive technology, electric vehicles and showcasing some of the roles Virtual Reality is beginning to play in the industry.
If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to don a VR headset and allow yourself the chance to experience this amazing technology and some of the possibilities therein, I strongly suggest you do so at the earliest chance you get. Where this technology will take us and the auto industry is simply mind boggling. Advice: keep an eye on VR and its continuing development.
The over-all appearance of most exhibitor stands was of a high quality, with most companies putting their best foot forward and making efforts to impress. Business meetings, networking and relationship building was the name of the game at most stands. My usual bugbears