Hosted by the world’s largest city (pop. 26.3 million) and busiest shipping port (37 million tons per year), this year’s 15th edition of the Dec. 3-6 Automechanika Shanghai is on-track to set yet another record-breaking attendance tally. More than 6,270 exhibitors will be presenting their products and services across nearly 4 million square feet of display space at the vast National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC).
In 2018 more than 150,568 visitors representing 145 nations filed through the turnstiles – a 15 percent increase over 2017’s attendance -- and an even bigger turnout of buyers is expected to peruse this year’s stated theme of “Where the Future Automotive Ecosystem Begins.”
The concept denotes “rapid advancements in the industry that are currently remapping the automotive value chain,” according to Fiona Chiew, deputy general manager at Messe Frankfurt Hong Kong, chief producer of the event.
“It zooms in on the concept of connectivity; not just through emerging technology, but also the notion of networks and knowledge sharing,” she explains. “The show expands on the automotive ecosystem concept by not only covering the entire supply chain, but also exposing more opportunities for research and development, insurance, investment, future technologies and more.”
An enhanced focus on digitalization, future technologies and services is in the offing to fit with the goal of “shaping more opportunities” for working closer with researchers and other industry institutions and related participants.
“A growing number of special sectors, zones and fringe program events will amplify many of the latest advancements and rising trends throughout numerous areas of the industry,” says Chiew, reflecting on the show’s expanding reach and relevance.
A more modest amount of 235 exhibitors and 9,000 guests were on hand when the show was established in 2004. “Over the past 14 editions, Automechanika Shanghai has continued to thrive alongside Asia’s automotive industry,” she reports. “China has now become the world’s largest auto market.”
With that scope comes a much higher interest in providing aftermarket products and services to a teeming country of 1.40 billion people (the U.S. population is just under 326 million) driving 127 million vehicles over some 3 million miles of roadways in varying conditions of upkeep; a little over half of the of the routes are paved.