As the United Kingdom’s largest industry trade show, June’s award-winning Automechanika Birmingham is expected to host more than 500 exhibitors making OEM and aftermarket business connections with executives from across the globe when the show doors open June 5.
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Nearly 80 percent of the 1.67 million cars produced last year in the UK were destined for overseas buyers in 160 worldwide marketplaces, the highest level of British vehicle exports since 2012. With some 169,000 Britons employed directly in manufacturing and 814,000 across the wider automotive industry, the segment includes more than 30 automakers building 70-plus vehicle models supported by 2,500 international parts vendors.
About £7.9 billion ($10.6 billion U.S.) worth of assorted components are annually imported into the U.S. from the UK. In 2017 the Commonwealth’s engine output of 2.7 million units was up 6.9 percent over 2016’s sales numbers – 54.7 percent of the motors were shipped to overseas auto and van plants.
“World class engineering and products, a supportive government and massive investment have helped establish the UK as one of the most productive and innovative places in the world to develop and build cars,” says Mike Hawes, chief executive at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a co-sponsor of the Messe Frankfurt-produced convention held at Birmingham, England’s vast National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
The UK’s auto industry achievements “underline the highly integrated nature of the global automotive sector, with interdependent supply chains and mutually beneficial trade delivering choice to car buyers,” Hawes explains. “It is vital that we maintain open trade links with the U.S., as well as our EU partners, for the benefit of consumers and our respective industries and economies.”
This year’s figures are not yet in, but in 2017 Automechanika Birmingham attracted 800 exhibitors and 12,000 decision makers representing OEMs, component manufacturers, dealerships, parts distributors, parts retailers, service chains, independent mechanical repairers, body shops and other associated enterprises.
Of last year’s roster of attendees, 78 percent had purchasing authority at their firms and 77 percent had senior management status; 85 percent of all the visitors said they intended to return for 2018’s third edition of the expo.
“Automechanika Birmingham is a great platform for us to showcase new products and developments, network with our existing customers and meet new prospects,” reports Julian Goulding, Delphi’s UK marketing manager.
Other vendors expected to participate next week include Bosch, HELLA, Gates, MANN + HUMMEL, TEXA, Liqui Moly, Total, Michelin Lifestyle, Draper Tools, Group Auto, Euro Repar Service, Dura, JHM Butt, Hofmann Megaplan, J&S Products, SATA, Ecobat Battery Technologies, TR Fastenings, Magal/Arlington, SLM and JVC Kenwood.