Maintenance and Repair – The Truth
GUESS THE PART
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Automechanika Shanghai – Focus On Spares
In Part 1, Start My Car travels to China, meets interesting suppliers and gets ready for the Automechanika.
Wednesday, day one of Automechanika. Focus was on hard parts. We were now on a roll and hit the halls with spares running.
A challenge that we found, was that although some factories might come highly recommended, have the right certifications and excellent product, they were unfamiliar with the vehicles for which they were produced. They had been commissioned to manufacture them, but the only reference that they had was the one supplied by their customer and not necessarily an OE number.
These items are being replaced because they are failing. The aftermarket has picked this up and are having them made. The challenge now is to try and match the image or measurements with an item back home. We observed this occurring with multiple exhibitors.
Wednesday afternoon was spent back at the hotel internalising and “coming to terms” with what we had seen in terms of the magnitude of the show and the sheer volume of stalls. We debriefed, discussed the stalls that we had visited, made notes of what we intended to follow up once back in SA, and strategized what needed to be achieved on Thursday. Day 1 was a success.
Thursday morning began with a meeting with one of our main Chinese agents. After handshaking, gift swapping (lots of green tea) we finally got down to work. Our main discussion points were quality certifications and product development. We then headed to the show together armed with a list of the stalls we’d earmarked the day before.
This was a much more focused day. We spent most of the day at the show and returned to the hotel exhausted (My apple watch registered over 15 000 steps). Again we debriefed, strategized Friday and “hit the sack”.
Friday started early, in fact we arrived before many of the exhibiters. We spent a considerable amount of time in the Accessory halls along with our agent who had travelled in from Hangzhou to spend time with us. We saw lots of “same old” but a fair amount of new tech and innovative products.
Friday concluded with a visit to the media centre where we met Graham Erasmus from the ABR magazine. What a pleasure it was to relax with and easy-going fellow South African. Thus concluded day 3 and Automechanika Shanghai 2018.
It is worth noting that the quality and reliability of the Chinese factories, the emphasis on certification and the innovation exhibited at the show was enormously impressive. China is well on its way to shedding its negative stigma.
At Start My Car we are committed to supplying Quality Parts and Accessories to all of our customers. Following my China trip and experience I am confident that we are living up to this commitment.
Next week is all about Hong Kong…(To be continued)