WDA enjoyed another successful Automechanika Birmingham Show earlier this month, meeting existing clients and talking to exhibitors.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) networking event was a highlight, with opportunities to engage with DIT experts and some of the sectors most innovative brands.
The UK’s Automotive supply chain is growing fast and headline DIT figures clearly show why automotive suppliers are increasingly looking to invest in the UK:
– A staggering £4 billion per annum opportunity for tier one supplier business and £2 billion for upstream
– Average UK vehicle content has grown from 36% to 44% since 2011
– Annual UK automotive supplier turnover has increased to an estimated £11.6 billion since 2011
– Vehicle manufacturers are committing long-term to the UK and are increasingly looking to source parts locally
– UK suppliers are providing lower risk options
It was also brilliant to see women represented thanks to a ‘Women in Automotive’ feature, which promoted the mentoring of girls and aimed to encourage more women into the trade.
Out on the show floor, WDA were impressed by the layout and flow of the show, and noticed that some brands were working hard to create stand-out and engagement amongst the audience – in particular the guys at Autologic who scooped the ‘Best Visitor Engagement Award’ at the exhibitor stand awards.
Tactics ranged from innovative digital floor systems and hologram projectors to hand drawn stands (Coba Automotive) and a range of interactive ideas from air hockey to wheel change challenges – not forgetting the now familiar ‘Elring Man’!
Automechanika Birmingham also gave us chance to catch up with our client Diamondbrite and their now famous ‘Grime Car’, which this year is a half-mucky-half-pristine Honda Civic Type R to promote their BTCC sponsorship programme.
Staying with racing, WDA were also treated to a presentation of the University of Wolverhampton Racing Team’s 2018 F3 car which was being displayed on the Morris stand.
Finally, it was particularly interesting to talk to exhibitors about the role of branding within B2B, and the perception amongst some about how B2B brands are differentiated and selected, compared to consumer facing brands. The myth – for some – persists that consumer brands are defined based upon emotive appeal (‘warm and fuzzies’) whereas B2B products and services are pitched, sold and transacted purely through cold, hard logic!
The reality is that Brand matters in B2B markets. In fact, it may matter even more in B2B than in B2C – find out more here.
Now to gear up for Automechanika Frankfurt in September!