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Automechanika Shanghai 2020 demonstrates the workings of a hybrid event to unlock global automotive development

21 Dec 2020

A few weeks on from wrapping up the 16th edition of Automechanika Shanghai 2020, which took place from 2 to 5 December, organisers, exhibitors and visitors reflect upon the show’s efforts to reconnect the automotive ecosystem. Numerous parties across the global supply chain complimented its innovative hybrid format, which virtually transported players to the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Shanghai. Feedback from participants continued to convey strong optimism for a resilient bounceback in the market.

Automechanika Shanghai 2020

Key figures for Automechanika Shanghai 2020:

  • Onsite visitors: 79,863
  • Exhibitors: 3,845
  • Scale: 280,000 sqm
  • Online visits (in terms of page views) through AMS Live: 578,000 from 150 countries and regions
  • 652 pre-arranged online and onsite business matching appointments|
  • 62 fringe events
  • 49 hybrid programmes broadcast on AMS Live

Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, said: “This edition of Automechanika Shanghai was very rewarding. Our biggest ambition was to unite both overseas and domestic players in the industry in the face of the pandemic, and I firmly believe we succeeded. AMS Live was a critical part of the show’s infrastructure to accomplish this goal as it promoted business exchange and networking, as well as captured a true sense of activities around the fairground. I look forward to seeing how we can continue this momentum in 2021.”

Navigating a dynamic automotive ecosystem
This year, Automechanika Shanghai continued to draw upon its progressive concept of an automotive ecosystem. The 2020 edition zeroed in on creating a more inclusive fair by highlighting collaborative opportunities across various sectors. New and returning exhibitors included the likes of ACHR, APG, Arnott Air Suspension, Bangbang, Baumann Springs, Brembo, Carzone, CRRC, DeVilbiss, Dong Feng, EAE, Eni, Ford Motor China, Foton, FUCHS, GSP, Hengst, Jauto, Launch, LIQUI MOLY, Lucas, Mahle, Michelin Lifestyle, MP Concepts, Riyong-JEA, SAIC MOTOR, SATA, SOGREAT, SONAX, TEIN, Toyota Tsusho, VIE, Wanxiang, Zhongmou and Zynp Group.

Further to this, Parts & Components, Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility and Electronics & Connectivity spotlighted interrelated technologies and trends brought forward by greater digitalisation in the supply chain. Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility maintained its position as an incubation and innovation hub by attracting a number of first time exhibitors, as well as 30 start-ups in the ICVIC Innovation zone, research institutes, associations and more. Exhibitors highlighted some of the most cutting-edge breakthroughs in digital and material advancement shaping the future car.

Elsewhere, Diagnostics & Repair / Body & Paint, Accessories, Customising and REIFEN (Tyres & Wheels) amplified the rising aftermarket and various business models that integrate areas of digitalisation, personalisation, safety, car care, workshop technologies and more. On top of this, the Services & Supply Chain zone accentuated new integrated systems drawing upon the evolving distribution networks and internet-based business practices. It collected a number of chain stores, data management and e-commerce platforms, together with auto finance, insurance and talent acquisition firms.

Buyers also enjoyed the heightened selection of commercial vehicle-related exhibitors with over 50 percent of booths displaying the Truck Competence. This rising segment at the show clearly reflected the growing desire to expand the logistics industry along key transport channels around Asia.

In addition to the leading industry players, over 40 provincial and municipal trade organisations and industry associations recognised the key benefits of utilising the show’s stage. Under the backdrop for the newly introduced ‘Dual Circulation’ policy, it was an ideal environment for the local pavilions, they brought to exhibit, to expand the participating companies’ business networks in the international and domestic markets.  Accordingly, domestic players recognised the show’s efforts to promote the ‘inner circulation’, while overseas buyers found a broader variety of products and services from local companies.

Mr Cheng Yongshun, Vice President of China National Machinery Industry International, noted: “This year, the pandemic accelerated the evolution of the auto parts supply chain, and Automechanika Shanghai was there to help the industry grasp the opportunities in commercial rebound and domestic demand. Its heightened digital services also emphasised the interactivity of the internet, reflecting its general day-to-day integration in people’s behaviour. These key trends will thereby continue to transform the industry with respect to upgrades in the consumer market, local manufacturing capabilities and further opening up of the market.”

The integration of AMS Live
One of the show’s greatest responses to tackle the obstacles met by the pandemic was transforming the event into a hybrid format. Through its new platform, AMS Live, onsite attendees noted the inclusion of livestreamed activities, new areas like the Hybrid & Trade Promotion zone and broadcasting studios around the fairground, as well as onsite-to-online fringe events.

Crossing over into this digital realm, overseas buyers also enjoyed online services as an extension of the physical fair to replicate onsite sourcing experiences. Product showcases, one-to-one business matching, scheduling and agenda setting options were, therefore, a welcomed substitute of face-to-face interactions. These novel experiences were said to have stimulated many meaningful business discussions and encouraged fairgoers to contact current overseas partners as a means of touching base in their yearly get together during the fair.

The show’s digital evolution was also magnified through its line-up of hybrid and livestreamed fringe events. In tandem with experts on the ground, many also tuned in remotely to offer their insights into the latest opportunities, challenges and trends in the market. Attendees applauded the approach, which offered a well-rounded view of the present situation and future recovery of the automotive industry. In total, there were 49 broadcasted fringe events on AMS Live. Notable events included:

  • Automotive Aftermarket Summit 2020
  • AIAG Auto Parts Purchasing Leadership and Suppliers Summit 2020
  • China Automobile Dealers Used Car Industry Development Forum 2020
  • China International Tyre Industry Conference 2020
  • International Summit of Connected-Vehicle Policies and Regulations 2020
  • Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility Summit 2020

Livestreamed tours guided online attendees through all seven sectors and three specialised zones (Services & Supply Chain, Auto Manufacturing and Remanufacturing). Each explored transformational trends in the automotive industry, dug into the automotive workshop and examined how players are responding to a new aftermarket era respectively.

Selected services on AMS Live will remain open until 2021. This will allow buyers more time to search the extensive database of exhibitors that are readily accessible to the platform.

Global participation despite geographical boundaries
In the face of travel restrictions hindering overseas attendance, Automechanika Shanghai was able to maintain its position as an international automotive epicentre.

This year, 29 overseas exhibiting countries and regions assembled in Shanghai. Germany, Italy and Taiwan along with the first-ever Israel pavilion brought 36 companies overall.  Many also took the opportunity to mobilise their local sales offices to boost and maintain their visibility in the domestic market, signalling growing engagement in China’s new 'Dual Circulation' policy.

The pivot to offer an online gateway into the show through AMS Live was a key component from a global standpoint. The platform was widely received by 150 countries and regions, reinforcing the sweeping interest from numerous markets to get-back-to-business and interact with onsite activities and exhibitors. 

Participants’ feedback on Automechanika Shanghai 2020
Onsite buyer:
Mr XiaoBin Li, General Manager, Qingdao Julun Tire Co Ltd
“Compared with the other exhibitions I have visited, Automechanika Shanghai continues to out-perform in terms of its scale, comprehensive coverage of the supply chain and reach in the international market. In addition to exploring the exhibitors in REIFEN (Tyres & Wheels), we are also interested in original equipment and other related products and repair parts in the customising sector across the aftermarket. We have been able to find all of this at the fairground.” 

Online buyer:
Mr Gary Parker, Product Manager, BaxtersMTQ (Australia)
“Our company is part of the BAPCOR group, Australia’s largest automotive aftermarket group, supplying auto electricals, diesel fuel injectors and turbochargers. It was our first time using the online matching service as we had to attend the show online this year. We were offered a matchmaking package, allowing us to get in contact with up to five suppliers. The experience was efficient and well organised. Overall, it was very rewarding and useful to our business.” 

Premium Buyer Club:
Mr Qiang Chen, Founder/Chairman, Zhejiang Hydrogen Valley New Energy Vehicle Co Ltd
“I am impressed by the strong turnout of participating companies amidst the pandemic. Automechanika Shanghai gives us a comprehensive sourcing experience and an opportunity to connect with top global auto parts suppliers who are showcasing their latest products. We are in research and development on top of a manufacturer for hydrogen energy vehicles. In these aspects, the show has met my purchasing needs in the new energy sector. To embrace the rise of new energy vehicles and tomorrow’s service and mobility, the show has become an important destination for networking and exploring new technologies and achievements that are setting out development trends for the industry to follow.”

Fringe programme attendee in the China Automobile Dealers Used Car Industry Development Forum 2020:
Mr Zhao Chao, Head of Development and Operation Department, Shanghai Automotive Repair Co Ltd
“With the used car market continuing to create great value in the domestic industry, I wish to explore the prospects for my business. All the speakers today were very knowledgeable and portrayed a strong level on understanding about the segment. I found the content discussed truly reflected current trends. I also appreciate the show’s hybrid format, especially during this difficult time as it provided convenient functions like today’s livestream of the event for those unable to be present at the fairground.” 

Parts & Components exhibitor:
Mr Terry Zeng, COO, New Sorl Auto Parts
“Under the prevailing 'Dual Circulation' policy in China, Automechanika Shanghai further stimulates the internal circulation of China’s automotive industry, boosting market confidence at the same time. As a professional show with a strong reputation, we always meet high-quality suppliers. It is always an excellent opportunity for us to increase our brand awareness, speak to new clients and collect industry information.”

Electronics & Connectivity exhibitor:
Ms Fanny Zheng, Sales Department Manager, Zhejiang Songtian Automotive Motor System Co Ltd
“We have switched our focus to the domestic market. In fact, we have recently set up two new subsidiaries to develop new products and expand our existing portfolio for new energy vehicles. I am thankful that the organisers established AMS Live. It allowed overseas buyers to contact us remotely in real-time and understand our products through watching our videos. I am optimistic about the future automotive market as more consumers are switching to private transport for safety reasons, which will stimulate the growth of the aftermarket.” 

Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility exhibitor:
Mr Zhengzhong Wang, Vice President, Changhui Group
“As a leading automotive trade event, Automechanika Shanghai draws in a lot of highly important clients for our company. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the organisers acted quickly to launch AMS Live. This hybrid format was very convenient and quite a unique experience for both exhibitors and visitors. With the passenger car market slowing because of the pandemic, our company adjusted its strategy to approach more OEMs. Our ongoing technical reform and innovation, as well as the acceleration of automated production processes and new product development will help us during the post-pandemic industry recovery.”

Israel pavilion:
Ms Vicky Wang, Portfolio Manager, Eyesight Technologies
“The purpose for joining Automechanika Shanghai was to increase Eyesight’s exposure in the market and forge new business networks locally. We believe the country is a promising market as it is already quickly recovering from the pandemic, and I think the show will continue to play a critical role in facilitating industry development. The pandemic itself has brought about a number of challenges and opportunities. To respond, we have to focus on improving product applications and customisation more than ever to cope with rising needs. Our company’s new driver monitoring system can operate even with the driver wearing a mask or glasses. A lot of potential buyers came to our booth today enquiring about our products.”

Diagnostics & Repair / Body & Paint exhibitor:
Mr Yu Yeqing, President, EAE Automotive Equipment Co Ltd
“Compared to other shows that we participate in overseas, we are more pleased with the results gained from Automechanika Shanghai. Its internationalism and professionalism are reflected in all aspects of the show. Its new digital platform also facilitated business expansion. Our sales team were able to utilise this efficient tool to discuss further business opportunities with remote clients that were not able to join physically.”

Accessories exhibitor:
Mr Bruce Lu, Vice General Manager, Jiangsu Shuangxing Color Plastic New Materials Co Ltd
“Through Automechanika Shanghai, we can access potential customers and forge closer ties with returning ones. Exhibitors here can leverage its global stage to showcase new products and technologies, which promotes a healthy level of market competition and accelerate research and development. The show is highly recognised in the automotive ecosystem, and we are optimistic about the industry’s inevitable bounceback.”

Customising exhibitor:
Mr Yuan Wenxing, Vice President, GUANGDONG EVK AUTO CULTURE CLUB
“We want companies to know that there are still many opportunities in the auto parts and used car exports market, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic. Many Chinese auto parts enterprises see great potential in the likes of the African auto industry. Under the 'Dual Circulation' policy, we have helped companies use our club’s resources to build stronger business networks abroad. What’s more, buyers at the show this year have been very patient and have taken the time to communicate with exhibitors in-depth. So, overall, I am very satisfied with the results.”

Supply Chain and Chain Store zone:
Ms Yolanda Wang, Deputy General Manager, Aerospace Siyuan Automotive Material Technology (Shanghai) Co Ltd
“Through AMS Live, we arranged several online business meetings to boost our presence in an international environment. This year, the show expanded its range of fringe programme events, further integrating the vertical and horizontal supply chain, to which we learnt more about the current and future markets. We also explored emerging areas in the customising sector that inspired us a lot. This year, we have confronted a number of challenges from the pandemic; we are investing a lot of time into our business strategy and I believe breakthroughs in research and development will play a key role in our recovery and growth.” 

REIFEN (Tyres & Wheels) exhibitor:
Mr Sun Yongbiao, Product Manager, Zodo Tire Co Limited
“A striking difference between Automechanika Shanghai 2020 and its previous editions was that the organisers did a great job in their pre-show promotion, capitalising on various channels such as WeChat, online platforms and websites, as well as newspapers and magazines. These were all helpful for exhibitors shaping their promotion at the fair and attracting more visitors along the way. The show presents a perfect occasion for sourcing, and its online platform allowed us to stay in touch with overseas partners and prospective customers unable to attend in person. Of course we welcomed top-quality buyers onsite too. We look forward to joining the show next year!”

Business matching exhibitor:
Mr GaoWen Li, Marketing Product Manager, Qingdao Copton Technology Co Ltd
“This is the first time that we have taken advantage of the show’s matchmaking activities. Through this value-added service, we have been able to access numerous high-quality buyers. It is very efficient and has saved me a lot of time in my pre-show planning and onsite meetings. I would say it is a win-win for both for suppliers and buyers.”

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The next edition of Automechanika Shanghai will take place from 24 – 27 November 2021. The event is organised by Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd and the China National Machinery Industry International Co Ltd (Sinomachint). Please contact Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd on + 852 2802 7728 or via email for further enquiries.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Messe Frankfurt Group employs around 2,500* people in a total of 30 subsidiaries. The company generated annual sales of approximately €250* million in 2020. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). For more information, please visit our website at:
* preliminary figures 2020

Background information on Sinomachint
China National Machinery Industry International Co Ltd (Sinomachint) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), a large state-owned group. Sinomachint specializes in areas such as international exhibitions, trade and project contracting. International exhibition is a core business for Sinomachint, which are recognized because of many years of exhibition organizing experience and a professional organization team. Sinomachint held exhibitions that combine internationality and locality in over 30 large and medium-sized Chinese cities. The total exhibition area of exhibitions that Sinomachint independently organizes or jointly do with partners each year exceeds 3 million square meters. For more information, please visit the website at: