SHOW PREVIEW: Automechanika Birmingham 2018

Automechanika Birmingham is driving back to the big Midlands city for a triumphant third lap this June. Torque sets the sat nav and checks ahead for the 2018 highlights…

This summer, Birmingham will again become a hub for the UK’s automotive industry as it hosts Automechanika Birmingham, bringing thousands of visitors to the region.

For the third year running, this trade exhibition for the automotive industry will return to Birmingham NEC, over 5-7 June, where an increase in visitors is anticipated thanks to a raft of new initiatives, networking opportunities and extended opening hours for automotive repair garages.

This year’s show is also arriving off a very successful trip to the AEO Awards. Automechanika Birmingham walked home with four prizes from the events industry awards, including “Best Trade Show”.

The show takes place in the heart of the UK’s manufacturing hotbed, powering the engine of the West Midlands (£17.5 billion) and East Midlands (£15.9 billion), with their strength across the aerospace and automotive sectors.

With this in mind, Automechanika Birmingham is pitching itself as the ideal vehicle to continue to support this growing market in a central, accessible and relevant location, also bringing the sector to a city synonymous with the motor trade with the region’s heritage immersed in automotive growth and success. Global brands Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, MG Rover Group and more recently Aston Martin all have a significant presence in the West Midlands.

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To help leverage this global economic potential, this year’s event is launching a facilitated meetings programme to allow visitors to pre-arrange meetings with exhibitors, ensuring that visitors maximise their time and an increase of business conversations are held on exhibitor stands.

More than 500 exhibitors are due to attend for 2018, with 85% of 2017 visitors intending to return to the exhibition, which will house a newly improved layout. What’s more, organisers at this year’s show have widened the appeal across the aftermarket sector, including a new dedicated Garage Quarter to host tools and garage equipment suppliers looking to meet the growing number of independent garages attending the event.

Simon Albert, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “After last year’s success with a turnout of around 12,000 visitors, we’ve no doubt that this year’s event will cement Automechanika Birmingham’s position as the UK’s most valuable meeting place for the automotive industry, uniting companies in the UK aftermarket and vehicle production sector.

“The importance of the UK automotive industry to the economy is evident, particularly now more than ever. As we believe the sector will provide a key role in our global economic standing, we’re now calling on regional businesses to get behind the event and support the UK automotive industry.”

Aftermarket issues: MOTs & GDPR

Automechanika Birmingham will tackle all the major issues affecting businesses in the automotive aftermarket, according to Event Director Simon Albert.

“Automechanika Birmingham 2018 is an event for every company in the aftermarket to come together, share ideas and express opinions on how to move business forward. With so much happening in the trade, the event has become a ‘must attend’ for automotive personnel looking to develop their business now and in the future.

"The event is specifically geared towards meeting the needs of end users including garages, body shops, tyre fitters, motor factors, retailers and franchised dealerships, not just in terms of highlighting new products, but with advice and support on running an automotive business, both now and in the future.”

With an exhibitor base set to be the most proactive yet, visitors will also benefit from the event’s thriving seminar programme with issues such as GDPR and MOT changes set to dominate.

This year’s event at the NEC Birmingham, running from 5-7 June 2018, will welcome vehicle production exhibitors in Hall 6, aftermarket suppliers in Hall 20 and a dedicated Garage Quarter in Hall 19.

Networking is usually high on the agenda and Automechnika Birmingham will extend the show’s opening hours to allow visitors to stay longer to that end.

Motorsport Valley Innovation will interactively showcase cutting edge tech and foster closer collaboration between OEM automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers, while future technology will be showcased in a special area, featuring autonomous vehicles, electrification and vehicle manufacturer mobility initiatives.


In 1971, back when Ford Cortinas and Vauxhall  Vivas were all the rage, Messe Frankfurt launched Automechanika Frankfurt. Since then, the show has since put many miles on the clock, with Automechanika shows arriving in Istanbul, Dubai, Johannesburg, Shanghai and many more.

The UK had to wait until 2016 to get its own Automechanika, which proved a hit at the NEC right from the off. Forest Exhibitions launched Automechanika Birmingham as a licensee and brought in over 500 exhibitors on a net exhibition space of 10,000 square metres.

In March this year, Messe Frankfurt acquired Forest Exhibitions Ltd, effectively setting up a UK subsidiary. The move also saw Messe Frankfurt acquire 100% of the NEC-set show in the package. The previous owner of Forest Exhibitions, Rob Sherwood, will continue to represent Messe Frankfurt in international sales with his company Sherwood Event Services Ltd. Former Event Director of Forest Exhibitions Ltd, Simon Albert, is to be Managing Director of the new Messe Frankfurt subsidiary.

Torque is an official media partner to Automechanika Birmingham, which runs 5-7 June 2018 at the NEC. Visitors looking to sign up can register for their free ticket at