It was back to business-as-usual at Automechanika Frankfurt, the largest trade fair for stakeholders across the automotive aftermarket value chain. The event made a welcome return as an in-person event following a short gap. Held between 13-17 September 2022, it showcased an exciting lineup of innovative products, services, and solutions. Event organizers claimed that this year’s proceedings were bigger than ever before, drawing in an estimated 2,600 exhibitors from over 70 countries and 78,000 visitors from 175 countries.
The trade fair comes at a time of enormous change for the automotive market. The ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, global trade tensions, and the semiconductor crisis apart, market participants are having to engage with innovative disruption in the form of connectivity, autonomous, sharing/servicization, and electrification (C.A.S.E.) trends. Meanwhile, intensifying concerns over climate change and rampant resource consumption have been compelling stakeholders to embed sustainability paradigms across the ecosystem. Against this background, technology is proving a powerful game changer with digitalization transforming industry dynamics.
As an attendee at this year’s event, I had a ringside view of the latest trends, technologies, and innovations in the automotive aftermarket. Client interactions offered an understanding into how a new set of strategic imperatives is shaping stakeholder responses and introducing innovative business models.
These are my top takeaways from the event:
- The automotive aftermarket is strongly linked to traditional business approaches and models; most products and solutions currently being promoted represent improvements on existing options. Rather than maximizing their disruptive potential, these solutions are developing at a steady pace and need to continuously accommodate rapid, ever evolving C.A.S.E.-driven transformations in the vehicle parc. Industry players who can anticipate and proactively leverage the opportunities presented by this accelerated pace of change, will be able to succeed and grow.
- Major players such as ZF Group, Continental, Bosch, and Schaeffler are at the forefront of advances in overall vehicle platform and system development. They are in sync with the technological shifts sweeping through the industry, offering cutting-edge solutions that effectively address electrification and autonomous driving challenges.
- General online retail marketplaces like those of the Alibaba Group, eBay, and Amazon are disrupting conventional distribution and sales models. They are pushing a B2B2C (business to business to consumer) business model, promoting channel digitalization via online aftermarket platforms as a solution to capture next-gen market demand, improve supply chain profitability, and enhance delivery efficiency.
- eRetailing channels in the automotive aftermarket are expected to generate tremendous opportunities. An articulated ecosystem is emerging that spans digital retailers such as AUTODOC, general retail marketplaces, and service aggregators such as AutoButler Group that are working alongside traditional distributors, retailers, and online OEM platforms.
- Electric vehicle (EV) battery system management and diagnostic technologies, together with residential charging solutions, are becoming increasingly relevant to capturing emerging and unmet needs linked to the shift toward electrified mobility.
- OEMs are using dedicated portals to digitally market certified used parts such as secondhand wheels, body parts, interiors, lights, doors, and engine components. This is opening new avenues to generate extra top line flows and build a more sustainable value chain focused on prolonging the useful life of automotive parts/components. Simultaneously, this is improving customer loyalty since it translates to offering about 40% more affordable parts to end customers with the same quality assurance levels.
For insights into the Future of the Automotive Aftermarket—including information on current market trends, future outlook, best practices, and business models needed to succeed in the medium to long term—or to learn about our 2022 multiclient initiative on “Decoding the Automotive Aftermarket: e-Retailing”, please contact Giacomo Rossi at: email@example.com.