RMI’s Olivier elected to International Automechanika Innovation Awards Panel
Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry (RMI)

One of the highlights at this year’s Automechanika, South Africa’s premier trade show, was the announcement of the local Innovation Award winners and the news by Michael Johannes, Vice President Mobility and Logistics at Messe Frankfurt, that Jakkie Olivier, Chief Executive Officer of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation, would represent South Africa as one of the nine independent judges of the International Innovation Awards being held at Automechanika Frankfurt in September this year.

The Innovation Awards have always been a highlight of both the local and international shows and this year pioneering products have been given an even bigger role on the international stage with the introduction of a new concept – Innovation4Mobility which will run alongside the Innovation Awards.

Johannes comments, “In times of radical change, innovations are more important than ever. That is why we will be doing even more this year to highlight the products and solutions that are submitted” not only during the trade fair itself, but also in the run-up to the event. We have also adapted the categories in keeping with the latest developments in the automotive aftermarket."

The search to find the next big thing in the automotive aftermarket has become that much more exciting with innovative products and solutions expected, not only in electromobility and other alternative drive systems, but also in in data and connectivity.

Johannes says that is why the new ‘Innovation4Mobility’ showcase will be making its debut alongside the Innovation Awards. “Here industry, science and start-ups will be able to present their solutions for networked vehicles and climate-neutral mobility in tech talks, networking sessions and product showcases. These will be included with the award-winning submissions from the Automechanika Innovation Awards.”

Exhibitors will be able to submit their innovations in nine categories namely E-Mobility, Data & Connectivity, Workshop & Service Solutions, Parts & Technology Solutions, Body & Paint, Car Wash & Care, Accessories & Customizing, Commercial Vehicles, and Motorcycle.

The submitted products will be examined and evaluated by an independent panel of experts. This year’s panel has been expanded to include international aftermarket experts, including representatives from the industry, retail and associations.

Commenting on his election as a judge, Olivier says he is very honoured to join the esteemed and respected panel of international judges. “As the largest representative body for the retail and associated motor industries, RMI is recognised as the leading voice in South Africa’s automotive aftermarket, and I am hoping to bring back some of the more creative and innovative solutions that are shaping the aftermarket of the future. The RMI itself and its eight associations are driving digitalisation and constantly evolving to meet the needs of an evolving customer base. If the standard of innovation at the SA show this month is anything to go by, I cannot wait to see what innovation the world has to bring.”