IDTechEx attended the Automechanika and the unfortunately named Subcon exhibitions in Birmingham UK 5-7 June 2016. Automechanika was a 550 stand version of the larger German event by Messe Frankfurt. It was coming to the UK for the first time. It was really a forum for the aftermarket, mostly involving low added value products such as replacement exhaust pipes, oil, lead acid batteries and car mats and almost entirely concerning cars.
The ever-excellent SMMT trade association had a nice stand promoting the British car industry with lectures on the stand and drinks reception and three conventional cars plus a Nissan Leaf on display and Ford strangely represented by a diesel engine. Korea, Poland and China were well represented with largely down-market products. Schaeffler of Germany had an excellent stand and projected an interview on electric vehicles: we knew it has considerable innovation in many EV systems of high added value but when we enquired they referred us to Germany. Denso referred us to Japan. Clever Valeo did not show its exciting stuff.
The Subcon exhibition claimed different positioning but it turned out to be largely about - yes - shaped metal and plastic, paper filters and so on. Much smaller, it had about small 100 stands. The racing cars, some hybrid, used for promotion of basic parts were fun to see and the SMMT conference about the UK car industry and its supplier relationships that was attached to Automechanika was excellent in performing that task as we have already reported.
IDTechEx presented to about 30 people on 48V Mild Hybrids in a primitive little side area in the exhibition. 48V mild hybrids are the way conventional vehicles can squeeze past forthcoming carbon dioxide emissions laws and it was interesting that five of the people present were from insurance companies. See the IDTechEx report, Mild Hybrid 48V Vehicles 2016-2026 .
Bottom line is that IDTechEx does not recommend anyone interested in hybrid and pure electric vehicles attend these events as a priority. They do not properly represent today let alone foresee tomorrow. A lone supplier to the commercial sector replacement market pointed out to us that, unlike Automechanika Germany Automechanika Birmingham does not have meaningful coverage of the commercial vehicle value chain.