Pioneering products and innovations will once again be celebrated when Automechanika Johannesburg – South Africa’s premier trade fair – returns to National Exhibition Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg in June.
“We are proud to announce entries for the 2022 Innovation Awards are now open. Manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors are invited to submit automotive products they deem to be innovative and pioneering in their respective fields for scrutiny,” says Michael Dehn, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt South Africa, the organisers of Automechanika Johannesburg:
“The trade fair 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 type on the African continent. There is no better way to gain industry and consumer recognition than taking part in a highly respected competition that aims to award the best of the best in terms of innovation and forward-thinking.”
Over the years 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. Winners have been able to successfully harness their achievements in the competition to bolster their marketing programmes and – as a result – have tasted local and international success.
“The Innovation Awards aim to find the best aftermarket products in South Africa from a selection of categories and utilise Automechanika Johannesburg as the platform to honour the pioneering prowess of each winning item,” says Convenor, Liana Reiners. “Entries will be judged by an independent jury of highly qualified and respected automotive experts representing recognised organisations and representative bodies within the industry. Names of jury members and the organisations they represent will be made public once the panel has been finalised.
“They will score products on a predetermined list of criteria. These include design, quality, efficiency, functionality, practicality, value for money, environmental friendliness and – of course – innovation. The cut-off date to enter is midday on Friday, May 6.”
In keeping with the latest automotive trends, the categories of the 2022 competition have been streamlined. The 10 categories are:
2. Accessories & Customising
3. Driver Assistance & Safety
5. Data & Connectivity
6. Diagnostics & Tuning
7. Repair & Maintenance
8. Original Equipment Products & Services
9. IT & Management
10. Service Station & Car Wash equipment
Prospective entrants must submit photographs and a detailed description of any automotive aftermarket or original equipment product they have developed, manufactured, imported, or distributed in South Africa. There is no entry fee.
The description of each product must include its country of origin when it was introduced to the South African market, the category of the aftermarket in which it competes, as well as the following:
* Perceived innovative quality
* The solution the product aims to provide
* Its functionality and user benefits
* Perceived economic efficiency
* Safety aspects it promotes
* Environmental aspects it promotes
* Its relevance to the automotive sector in which it competes
Based on the photographs and descriptions – which must include information relating to the technical characteristics and relevance of each product, jury members will score and rank each item. 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 – them on Monday,
May 23rd – two examples of the items for physical scrutiny by jury members.
Following physical evaluation, winners will be determined based on the highest marks scored. Gold, silver and bronze certificates will be awarded to the top three products, while the remaining finalists will receive highly commended certificates.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony which will form part of the trade fair’s official opening on Tuesday, June 7. Messe Frankfurt South Africa, organisers of Automechanika Johannesburg 2022, will arrange for an exhibit of all the finalist products to be highlighted in a special display at the show under an Innovation Awards banner.
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.”