Automechanika Jeddah 2019 Announces Extended Hours And New Venue

The countdown to Automechanika Jeddah 2019 has begun, with more than 80 exhibitors from 15 countries making their final preparations ahead of Saudi’s dedicated trade fair for the automotive aftermarket next week in Jeddah.

Taking place at a new venue – from 26-27 February 2019 at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel – Automechanika Jeddah is set to present the latest trends and innovations from some of the biggest names in the global automotive aftermarket and services industry.

The Automechanika brand’s Sub-Licensor Messe Frankfurt Middle East and Saudi-based organiser ACE Group also announced extended timings for the biennial event, with thousands of expected Saudi trade buyers and auto professionals granted free entry from 10am – 9pm on both days.

“The extended timings will ensure visitors can maximise the time to meet more exhibitors over these two days,” said Nathan Lloyd, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “There is plenty to look forward to, including innovative product launches, industry workshops, seminars, and of course valuable business networking.”

Automechanika Jeddah returns with its Truck Competence initiative for products dedicated to the entire value chain in the truck sector, while the global presence is underlined by five country pavilions from Turkey, Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Also returning is Automechanika Academy in partnership with Autolink and Institute of the Motor Industry, where C-Level recruitment in the automotive industry and developments in electric and hybrid vehicles are among the key topics discussed by industry experts.

More information is available at www.automechanikajeddah.com.

Aston Martin Announces Partnership With Yas Marina Circuit In Abu Dhabi

On the eve of the final race of the FIA Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Aston Martin Lagonda announced a partnership with Yas Marina Circuit that will see the venue become the official ‘home’ of the British marque in the Middle East.

The partnership was formalised by Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer, and Al Tareq Al Ameri, Yas Marina Circuit Chief Executive Officer, prior to qualifying for the Grand Prix.

The newly established Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) team, headed by regional president Dan Balmer, will be based at Yas Marina Circuit owner Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management’s headquarters.

“We are really excited to be bringing our vision for the region to life, and moreover supporting the company’s global vision for solidifying the structured growth of our involvement in motorsport,” said Dan Balmer.

“The region is extremely important to Aston Martin and this new partnership reflects this. I’m particularly proud that we are establishing our new regional office at Yas Marina Circuit, allowing us to continue our ongoing investment in people and the expansion of the brand in the Middle East.”

Aston Martin said its 105-year history is steeped in competitive motorsport and this latest partnership with one of the most iconic F1 circuits in the world reinforces that commitment. The brand currently competes at the top level of motorsport with Aston Martin Red Bull racing in Formula One and Aston Martin Racing in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).

“We are extremely proud to be opening our doors to Aston Martin and very much look forward to a long and fruitful partnership,” said Al Tareq Al Ameri.

“We welcome them to our motorsport family on a more official level now – with its regional office based at the circuit and also with the integration of six new Vantage GT4s within our racing fleet.”

Cromax Appoints Kevin Torfs New EMEA Brand Manager

Axalta has appointed Kevin Torfs as the Cromax Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The announcement coincides with the brand celebrating its fifth year in its incarnation as Cromax.

“At Cromax, we advocate productivity in everything we do,” said Torfs. “We have an esteemed history that dates back nearly 100 years. And, over the last five years, Cromax has gone from strength to strength thanks to the hard work and determination of everyone across the region. I look forward to continuing this momentum, ensuring that Cromax is a brand that drives productivity for its end users at all stages of the paint repair. Our next chapter will be nothing but exciting.”

Torfs has held various roles in Cromax for over 13 years, most recently including Digital Marketing Specialist. He is also a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt for Axalta, the company behind the global refinish brand and a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings.

The brand says it is focused on continuing to bring innovative products and services to its body shops, especially energy saving processes which help body shops with their overall energy costs.

“Our attention is also squarely on everything digital,” Torfs explains. “From the most advanced tools and processes to value-adding services, our body shops can achieve improved productivity and optimised workflows.”

Training is another area Torfs is passionate about.

“Continuous professional development is vital, because it doesn’t matter at what stage in their career a refinisher is, our industry is always evolving, so staying on top of new techniques and new products will ensure the best work in the body shop,” he says.

Torfs takes over from Dries Van den Bergh, who moves to a full-time role as Customer Relationship Management Leader for Axalta.

Car-O-Liner Distributor Opens New Training Centre In KSA

Together with its new partner, Al Rajhi Takaful Insurance (ART), the largest motor vehicle insurance company in the Middle East, the AKA group team opened their new Training Academy on February 24th, 2018.

More than 60 guests attended the opening ceremony, including a large group of ART management and representatives.

Matthias Mueller, General Manager of AKA group operations, welcomed guests and outlined a brief summary of the strategies of both companies, in terms of training. The training centre has one section for training in body repair technique. It is fully equipped with a Car-O-Liner BenchRack 6300 and the Car-O-Tronic Vision2 X3 measuring system. For diagnosis and light repair there is the Speed alignment platform with and the PointX diagnostic measuring instrument.

The centre also includes a section for paint and preparation training, equipped with spray booths, preparation lifts and dry sanding systems. Two lecture rooms will be used for theoretical training classes. The opening day for the public and all customers will be on March 12th, 2018.