This year, the organiser of Automechanika Kuala Lumpur pushed the boundaries to produce an event that was more than just a platform for sourcing and trading; it created further opportunities in the passenger and commercial vehicle sectors through both the exhibition and fringe programme. The show gathered domestic and international visitors across the automotive industry to take part in fun auto-lifestyle events, conferences, seminars, training sessions and more.
Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, said: “The atmosphere around the fairground, over the past few days, has been captivating. The extended fringe programme offered even more opportunities for industry players to connect and exchange business. What’s more, the type of industry events that occurred highlight the show’s strong position and influence in the local market. As a result, I strongly believe that Automechanika Kuala Lumpur is becoming a regional platform for automotive activities in sourcing as well as training and automotive lifestyle.”
Fringe programme events bring show themes to life
This year, an array of fringe programme events amplified many of the region’s rising trends and themes across the show floor.
Over 140 visitors attended the Fleet Management Conference. Experts from Aeroline, Fleetsol, Guardian, Kit Loong, Pan-Malaysian Lorry Owners’ Association (PMLOA), Scania, Seeing Machine Australia, Valebridge Media and Valvoline discussed the new sector policies and local developments, as well as the associated technology for fleet monitoring, maintenance and repair. They also shared the importance of fleet modernisation and how to tackle challenges in the commercial, transport and logistics industries. Attendees noted that the content shared in the event was very relevant for addressing local market needs.
The audience member Ms Nurazmira Binti Wahab, Trucking Executive, Zas Logistics Asia Sdn Bhd, said: “We discovered information about the conference online and decided to attend immediately. The show has given us an excellent platform to meet industry experts from around the world, who have explored both interesting and informative topics. The subjects discussed can apply to both small local businesses as well as large fleet operators. I am very happy to have attended as I will apply many of the useful tips to my business strategy.”
The Collision Repair Training Workshop was also met with high praise. Over 200 participants explained that the advanced training sessions were a great source of easily transferable knowledge and information, and would help improve their skill set.
The workshop trainer Mr Spiros Stouratitis, Managing Director of CMC, Australia, said: “It is always important to touch base with local workshop providers and educate them about new sector updates. It is clear that providers want to modernise their workshops towards improving cost efficiency and environmental protection. The engagement from attendees has been great as many have followed up at our booth to inquire more about the applications and techniques reviewed.”
Mr Ooi Choon Lim, Managing Director of Maxim Lifestyle Gallery Snd Bhd attended the training session and revealed: “I have a newly appointed 4S Peugeot dealership, which means my operation now supports accident repair. As it is a new division, I have come to the training session to learn about new information and techniques. The experience has been very beneficial as the content is relevant and matches my workshop needs. Overall, the training at Automechanika Kuala Lumpur will give my company a competitive edge.”
Elsewhere, the fair showed off its diverse range of automotive experiences through other fringe activities. The EMMA Malaysia Final – Car Audio and Modification Competition reflected the country’s booming culture for Accessories & Customising. Teams who entered into the competition were also able to celebrate their achievements and connect with exhibitors at the Networking Happy Hour.
Performance at the Auto NITZ Party. This photo is protected by copyright. All rights of usage and exploitation are held by Messe Frankfurt.
Over 640 partygoers were also met by a host of entertainment at the first ever Auto NITZ Party. The show’s atmosphere promoted an excellent opportunity for exhibitors, visitors and car enthusiasts alike, to immerse themselves in a local auto-cultural lifestyle event. Mr Sönke Schimkat, Product Manager, Hitachi Automotive Systems Espelkamp GmbH, said: “I have been to many Automechanika shows in the past and I have never experienced anything quite like this. I came to the exhibition for sourcing, so it was a nice surprise to see this type of entertainment available. It is a unique experience and a great opportunity to unwind after a busy week.”
Additionally, the fringe programme hosted many industry events such as the Camel Power Launch, the Federation of Automobile Workshop Owners’ Association of Malaysia (FAWOAM) Annual General Meeting and more. These type of events reinforced the evolving direction of the show as it becomes a strategic platform for regional automotive gatherings.
Specialised zones spotlight regional trends
Visitors who attended the fringe events also complemented the synergy between the topics discussed and themes around the show floor. For example, the dedicated Truck zone and IoT zone both shone a light on the growing commercial vehicle sector and way new technology is shaping the automotive industry. This year, nearly 50 percent of exhibitors showcased products and solutions related to the sector.
Mr Mond Hedzri P Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer, PNMB Innoventures SDN BHD, an exhibitor from the IoT zone, said: “It is our first time participating at the show as we believe it is a great platform to generate more brand awareness. From this, I am delighted that we have received a number of enquiries from large corporate fleet providers. I believe there are also some great opportunities to integrate our solutions with other participating exhibitors too. Overall, it is an exciting event that has created a lot of prospects for us.”
Mr Gabriele Masciali, the Sales Manager from Dimsport Srl, also expressed: “Although I am a visitor, I believe my company would sit in the Truck zone or Truck Competence product category. The pictogram and zones help clearly identify exhibitors who fit into the same bracket. These are brilliant tools to encourage more business exchange and networking as it guarantees a good level of engagement.”
Other themes exhibited around the hall included e-commerce, logistics and collision repair.
Compared to the previous edition, this year, the fair saw international visitors increase by 16 percent. Aside from the domestic attendees, overseas visitors came from both near and afar. The top ten visiting countries included the likes of China, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Egypt, the Philippines and Vietnam. The show attracted participants from a variety of professions including dealers, distributors, service providers, manufacturers, trade associations and organisation, universities and more.
Additionally, the number of highly-influential international companies made a strong impression as it showed Malaysia’s prosperity in the automotive industry. Across the five halls, 73 percent of exhibitors came from 15 different overseas countries and regions. Some of the key players consisted of companies and brands like AIMCO, Anchi, Aokly, Aramex, AUTOBACS, BPI, Camel, CMC, eBay, FILM WORLD, FUJU UNITTA, GESEL HEINZ, HEYNER, Kaller, LAUNCH, MATRIX, Mazda, Payoneer, PHOENIX, Raybestos, World First Asia, XMFAN and Yamamoto.
At the same time, many local companies and brands such as CKL Group, CPC Tyre, FleetSol, Inter Enterprise Solutions, NES Oil Seal, Pos Malaysia, PNMB, SCHMACO, V-tech and Vanil Auto also achieved great international exposure through exhibiting at the fair.
The long-standing supporter, Selangor and Federal Territory Engineering and Motor Parts Trader’s Association, Malaysia (EMPTA) also hosted the EMPTA Pavilion for the first time at this year’s show. Mr Yap Son Chee, Chairman, said: “The export market in Malaysia is currently very strong and holds great potential for our members. Automechanika Kuala Lumpur is, therefore, an instrumental platform for our network as members can showcase their products to a global audience. Following our international development plan, we have found that many of our target countries including ASEAN, the Middle East, Africa and South America are here as both visitors and exhibitors.”
Mr Rajesh Ram Mohan, General Manager – Spare Parts & Lubricants, Ghassan Aboud Auto Spare Parts, noted: “I have come to the fair looking for partners to source from. The show is extremely well organised, compact and power packed. There are many domestic and international companies that I am very interested in, and a lot of the exhibitors that I have already spoken to are keen to start a conversation about our potential partnership.”