Inaugural UKGBE event hailed a triumph

The UK Garage and Bodyshop Event presented by Automechanika Birmingham has received widespread praise from the automotive aftermarket community, achieving a staggering 3,538 business owners over two days.

The event, held from 8-9 June, kicked off with visitors from garages, bodyshops and the wider automotive aftermarket from all over the UK flooding through the doors of the NEC in Birmingham to learn about the latest industry technology, tools and training.

The overwhelming take-away from the first industry face-to-face event on this scale since 2019, was that the automotive aftermarket is on the brink of real change, and if garages and bodyshops are to survive, let alone thrive, they will need to invest to be able to service and repair a digitalised and diversified vehicle parc.

Simon Albert, managing director of event organisers Messe Frankfurt UK, said: “The first UK Garage and Bodyshop Event has been a resounding success and has achieved its aim of providing a training platform for end users. Our exhibitors have told me how happy they were to meet serious garage and bodyshop owners, and also that they have come from all over the UK and Ireland.

“We now look ahead with an even greater sense of purpose to Automechanika Birmingham, which brings together the entire automotive industry with a dedicated section for garages and bodyshops, replicating the success of the UK Garage & Bodyshop Event.”

Featuring unfettered access for garage and bodyshop visitors to more than 100 leading suppliers, the event showcased the latest in service and repair products, diagnostics, and garage equipment, offering owners and technicians the skills and know-how to futureproof their businesses.

The event, which followed bodyshop magazine’s #UKGBE2022 networking launch party on 7 June, opened with Andy Hamilton of LKQ Euro Car Parts making the opening address, followed by dedicated training sessions and demonstrations from leading exhibitors such as Alliance Automotive Group (AAG), Bosch, Carlac, Castrol, Liqui Moly, Repairify, Snap-On and ZF.

Over the two days the training hubs, including the bodyshopmag-sponsored Bodyshop Training Hub,  provided more than 100 hours of seminars across its workshop, bodyshop, EV and hybrid training areas, covering ADAS, sustainability and collision repair, reflecting demand for aftermarket businesses to upskill in a post-combustion era.

On the back of such a strong showing, the UK Garage & Bodyshop Event will now be a permanent fixture in the alternate years to Automechanika Birmingham.

The success of the first UK Garage and Bodyshop Event means an even stronger presence is planned for bodyshops and garages at Automechanika Birmingham, which will take place 6-8 June 2023.