Frankfurt’s Autumn Trade Fair Season Is Underway

Following a forced, one-and-a-half-year break, from 14 to 16 September Messe Frankfurt was finally able to welcome exhibitors and trade visitors to two of its own events at its home venue


Following a forced, one-and-a-half-year break, from 14 to 16 September Messe Frankfurt was finally able to welcome exhibitors and trade visitors to two of its own events at its home venue. 388 exhibitors took part in the special Automechanika Frankfurt Digital Plus event in Hall 3 and the Hypermotion Frankfurt conference and trade fair in the Forum. Of these, 53 percent were present in person in Frankfurt, with the remainder participating online. Approx. 10,000 visitors from 70 countries followed the three-day trade fair programme live in Frankfurt and online. Two-thirds of the participants made use of the many new digital features to do so on-screen, including live streams, intelligent matchmaking and one-to-one video calls. The platform played host to approx. 25,000 interactions in all. The streams were viewed 21,000 times, while 1,600 video calls were made.

Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, put it this way: “The trade fair engine has been started, and the mobility and logistics industry got everything underway. Finally, exhibitors and trade visitors had the opportunity to get together in person again and make new contacts – both on site on the exhibition grounds and on the digital event platform with international industry players. Following a long dry spell, the familiar trade fair feeling was quickly established – only this time it was with masks and a requirement that people be vaccinated, tested or recovered. It is a good warm-up for Automechanika Frankfurt and Hypermotion next year.”

Dr. Axel Koblitz, Managing Director of the German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs (ZDK), added that: “The expanded Automechanika Digital Plus concept has created added value for the automotive industry. The new concept allows us to not only reach trade fair visitors on location in Frankfurt, but also many other automotive entrepreneurs and their employees who take advantage of our programme online. The presentations, workshops and panel discussions offered by the German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs are available as live streams over the FabuCar platform, where they will continue to be available even after the trade fair has concluded.”

The concept behind both events – an in-person trade fair supplemented by the ability to participate digitally – was well-received by exhibitors and visitors alike. Albrecht Kruse, Managing Director of SATA: “I am delighted that we are back at Automechanika – in person. It is our most important trade fair. I think that the hybrid format of this year’s event has been a complete success, particularly for the international public that is unable to travel to Frankfurt, as it makes it possible for them to be a part of the action. Even so, I believe that meeting with customers in person is extremely important. The Automechanika team has really outdone itself in making this format a reality for Automechanika Frankfurt.”

The pandemic has also accelerated the trend towards digitalisation in the automotive aftermarket. Two of the leading associations at the Automechanika trade fair have been following these developments in the industry. Thomas Fischer, Chairman of AAMPACT e.V.: “We, too, have seen that digitalisation is making huge strides in independent workshops. More and more workshops are taking advantage of the opportunities that are available online, including for communicating with their customers. More information on this topic, as well as all the findings from the large workshop survey on digitalisation, can be found in the ‘Whitepaper’ that is available for download at www.qualitä”

Emotional scenes were on tap on the trade fair stage at the first international Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships. Alexander Hagemann, the German candidate, was able to beat out his international competitors from England, China and South Africa with his car hood design. The competition is sponsored by leading paint manufacturers, for whom the topic of getting talented young newcomers into the painting trade is top priority.

Christian Schwer, National Sales Manager Germany at Liqui Moly: “Particularly during these unusual pandemic times, this year’s smaller Automechanika presents us with a chance to re-open communications with our customers, to be on location and make our presence felt as we resume in-person encounters. After all, business is done between people, and we believe that communication is everything – without it, nothing is possible, and that will remain true in future. Automechanika is the platform for the innovations and new technologies that we must all come to grips with not only as suppliers, but also as customers and as an industry. That was Automechanika’s role in the past, and that is what Automechanika continues to represent for us today.”

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 Hypermotion boasts international flair

Hyperloop technology, urban logistics and mobility concepts, intelligent supply chains and alternative drive technologies were the focal point of this year’s Hypermotion – the conference and trade fair helped to drive discussions of these pressing issues while addressing an international audience. DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators and providers of smart end-to-end logistics, is also a global partner of the event. Ibrahim Al Najjar, IT Director at DP World: “By facilitating the exchange of knowledge and expertise, Hypermotion offers our company a valuable platform where it can improve its end-to-end logistics services and optimise intelligent trade processes for the industry.” These discussions will be continued at Hypermotion in Dubai, where the conference and trade fair is making its international debut from 2 to 4 November 2021.

There was also a debut in Frankfurt: the first international Hyperloop Conference took place on 16 September 2021. Initiated by Hypermotion and its partners, this event gave various players from the international hyperloop ecosystem their turn in the spotlight, including transport companies, hyperloop start-ups, vacuum technology suppliers, port operators and infrastructure firms. Among other things, Sara Luchain, Director of Passenger Experience at Virgin Hyperloop, discussed her experiences from the world’s first hyperloop test run in the Las Vegas desert last November.

Keir Fitch, Head of Unit Rail Safety & Interoperability – DG MOVE European Commission and Thomas Jarzombek, Commissioner for the Digital Industry and Start-ups and Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, officially opened the conference, something that underlines the political relevance of this field.

Hypermotion Frankfurt also made it clear that new incentives are needed to make the mobility transition a reality. In order to develop comprehensive concepts that go beyond cars, discussions must proceed on a multinational and multi-industry basis. Stefan Eckert, Managing Director responsible for sales and project management at Yunex Traffic Germany: “We need to dialogue with other mobility and logistics specialists and experts in order to complete the puzzle. In other words, it is not only the transport users that must be involved – we must also address the issue of ensuring the safest, fastest and most sustainable means of getting goods and freight to their destinations. And Hypermotion is the ideal platform for this purpose. With its pioneering infrastructure and transport solutions, Yunex Traffic helps make urban mobility more sustainable, smarter, more digital and safer – yet these services are but one piece of the puzzle.” The company was one of more than 30 firms that participated in the two themed marketplaces – Future Mobility and Smart Logistics – that were organised by Motion-X.

Start-ups also presented bold approaches that showcased their role as drivers and facilitators of the mobility transition and digitalisation. Tilmann Rosch, Managing Partner of Urban Mobility GmbH: “Our innovative cargo bike is already in use in 14 cities throughout Germany. We have produced some 100 vehicles. In the next step, we aim to equip the vehicle with telematics, and we made numerous contacts at Hypermotion for this purpose.”

Visitors and exhibitors will have the opportunity to view the recorded programme on the digital platform until 30 September 2021.

The next regular Automechanika Frankfurt will be taking place from 13 to 17 September 2022.

The next Hypermotion Frankfurt will be held in conjunction with the German Mobility Congress (DMK) from 15 to 17 November 2022 in Frankfurt.


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