Automechanika: Day Four in Frankfurt
September 17, 2010

Primalec makes ultraviolet lamps for windshield repair.

Day four out of six of the biennial Automechanika showed steady traffic. Though many report that traffic is down, one of the reasons there are slightly fewer visitors is that Automechanika now has shows all over the world and some people visit the show in their respective countries or continents. Exhibitors and visitors are cautiously optimistic about the near future. At least there is some positive thinking about the general economic trends.

Richard Doran, director of Primalec in Nettlestead, United Kingdom, is a long-time exhibitor at Automechanika. Primalec distributes ultraviolet (UV) lamps to the windshield repair equipment manufacturers. Primalec exhibited last May at the Automechanika in Dubai and company officials were pleased with the results, according to Doran.

"People in the industry have a more positive mindset than before the economy started to take a downturn," said Doran.

According to Doran, in 2008, very few people were buying product, because they had too much inventory and were hesitant to buy new products. Big companies were only working three or four days a week and there were no confidence levels. That trend seems to be changing, he said.

Michael Euchner, export manager at Leitenberger GmbH in Kirchentellingsfurt in Gemany, also has been a long-time exhibitor at Automechanika. Leitenberger manufactures pressure/ vacuum pumps for the windshield repair manufacturers.

"There are a little less visitors, but the quality of inquiries is better," said Euchner. He added that 2009 saw about the same sales as 2008, but the expectations for 2010 are about 5 to 6 percent better. Michael also said that in 2009, the Eastern European business "took a nosedive."

"Russia alone bought 90 percent less in 2009 than in 2008," he added. "They just stopped buying."

George Hubinot is the managing director of Hubitools, in Wavre, Belgium. The company distributes leak detectors of all sorts, especially for checking leaks in A/C in cars, and also offers an item to detect leaks after replacing a windshield.

Hubinot also advised that he sees "business coming back to 2008 levels."

Jens Finkeldei, product manager of PMA/Tools Division in Germany, is showing an entire range of auto glass sensors and holders, all pre-applied parts for the windshields-for instance, for all the E-class Mercedes.

Marcel Weiss, in sales at Guardian Autoglas in Germany, also is exhibiting. The company has a warehouse for Europe in Karlsruhe, Germany, and distributes aftermarket glass, manufactured in Luxembourg and OE glass manufactured in Spain. Guardian Autoglas carries 2,500 different pieces of glass in its inventory.

The show will last through Sunday, September 19.

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