“Product innovation is synonymous with the Automechanika brand and as such, a group of highly qualified and respected automotive experts representing recognised organisations and representative bodies within the industry has been assembled to score products on a predetermined list of criteria. These include design, quality, efficiency, functionality, practicality, value for money, environmental friendliness and – of course – innovation,” says Michael Dehn, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt South Africa, the organisers of Automechanika Johannesburg.
The cut-off date to enter is midday on Friday, 13 May 2022.
Organisations represented on the panel of judges include the Retail Motor Industry (RMI), the Automobile Associated (AASA), the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM), the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC), the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO) and Absa, which is also a sponsor of the event.
“Absa sees its involvement with Automechanika Johannesburg and the Innovation Awards as a catalyst for collaboration and partnership with the automotive and related industries. Investing in innovations will propel the aftermarket industry into the next stage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As such, it is my mandate to assist businesses in reaching that next level and to stay relevant and competitive through innovation,” explains jury member Thami Letsoalo, Business Development Manager: Automotive Sector at Absa.
The jury members will draw on their expertise in fields such as macro-economics, import and export, aftermarket retail, business and skills development, transformation, sustainability, automotive technology, marketing and more to identify the most innovative and pioneering automotive products that are manufactured, supplied, or distributed in South Africa. Through this process products that bring fresh perspectives to the OE or aftermarket segments in which they compete – and which hold the promise of performing beyond expectation – will be identified.
In keeping with the latest automotive trends, the categories of the 2022 competition are:
- Accessories & Customising
- Driver Assistance & Safety
- Data & Connectivity
- Diagnostics & Tuning
- Repair & Maintenance
- Original Equipment Products & Services
- IT & Management
- Service Station & Car Wash equipment
Says Jan Schoeman, the COO of the RMI and a 2022 jury member: “I am extremely excited by the prospect of seeing the entries yielded by this year’s Innovation Awards. To my mind, taking part in a competition that aims to award excellence in terms of innovation and forward thinking is the best possible way to gain industry and consumer recognition.”
Fellow judge, Dr Norman Lamprecht – representing NAAMSA – concurs. “Automechanika Johannesburg serves as a gateway for the growing African automotive aftermarket, targeting visitors from sub-Saharan Africa, and is respected as the largest event of its kind on the African continent. Over the years, Innovation Awards winners have successfully harnessed their achievements in the competition to bolster their marketing programmes and – as a result – have tasted local and international success.”
Traditionally, the finalists and winners in the Innovation Awards have been showcased in a special exhibit at the show and have garnered huge interest from industry representatives and the public alike. This will again be the case for the duration of the event, which runs between 7 and 10 June 2022.
Jury members will score and rank each entry and products that achieve the highest marks on a collective basis will be deemed to be finalists in the competition. Representatives of the companies whose products have been selected will be asked to submit – on Monday, May 23rd – two examples of the items for physical scrutiny by jury members.
“The overall quality of entries in previous Innovation Awards was very high,” says Dehn. “We are sure to see a diversity of items yet again vying for the ultimate accolade in the competition. Manufacturers, importers and distributors of products that fit the criteria are invited to enter. The rewards are significant, and who knows, your product could just be the next big thing in the automotive aftermarket.”
HOW TO ENTER
Entrants are requested to submit by e-mail on or before midday on Friday, May 13th 2022, a detailed description of any automotive aftermarket or original equipment product they have developed, manufactured, imported, or distributed in South Africa, along with hi-resolution pictures of at least 1 Mb in size of the items. The description of each product must include its country of origin and when it was introduced to the South African market.
Each entry must also include the e-mail address and telephone number of the person responsible for the submission, along with details of the company he or she represents. There is no entry fee.
Queries or requests for additional information on the Innovation Awards can be sent to the same e-mail address. Alternatively, contact Liana Reiners on 083 407 4600.
Panel of Judges
Beth Dealtry – Analyst – NAACAM
Jeanne Esterhuizen – President – RMI
Norman Lamprecht – Executive: Trade, Exports and Research – NAAMSA
Lesibana Ledwaba – General Secretary – MIBCO
Thami Letsoalo – Business Development Manager: Automotive Sector – Absa
André Pistorius – Business Development Manager: Training – AASA
Jan Schoeman – COO – RMI