Autopromotec 2017 Opens Its Doors To The Press

BodyShop News has once again joined the world’s automotive aftermarket and press at the 2017 staging of Autopromotec.

This year’s show features a new record of 1651 exhibitors with 689 of them international. This represents a growth of four per cent in exhibitors and six per cent more participating countries that the show prior.

Speakers presented statistics looking at the vehicle population, which is currently pretty stable with slight growth in Europe. The big growth is naturally coming from China – where the automotive growth in the last six years is equal to the growth Europe experienced in the last 25 years.

According to the speaker, all players are clear that the future growth is going to be shifted and focused on the Middle Kingdom. “It is already evidenced by the volume of investment into China from all large vehicle and component manufacturers.” It’s also important to note that only Europe remains led by the large number of diesel vehicles, with the rest of the world led by petrol cars.

France and the UK are still the highest ranked in terms of DIY – thanks in large part to some of the highest labour rates in those countries. But overall, it’s common almost across the board that, especially with older cars, manufacturers continue to lose market share in the service sector, although they are aware of this and actively working to take back that market share. China’s bucking of this trend is mainly attributed to its vehicle growth trends, which mean that a higher portion of vehicles are still in maintenance plans.

It is clear that growth for the aftermarket has switched from Western European markets to the Chinese market. “This explosion in vehicle numbers is unprecedented in the sector’s history with such a growth surge in a single country. The average vehicle age in this market is only four years old – almost half the average age anywhere else,” said another speaker.

Trends in the car service sector are centred on connectivity of the vehicles and service providers. Professional service providers need to focus on education, training and specialisation to provide value added services to their customer bases. Marketing will also play an important role in driving consumers to one of the independent, franchised or manufacturer-linked service offerings. Owners have become less interested in how the cars are maintained but rather focus on the use and destination aspects – they want reliability, value and service.