The organizers plan to expand the show, which has focused on parts and garage equipment, by attracting more companies and organizations. These will then be able to advise workshop managers on wider business issues, such as finance, training, regulation and recruitment.
This stems from research done by the Garage Equipment Association. It asked visitors at previous ATS shows, plus garages that hadn’t visited, what would motivate them to attend.
“The answer we got was not just to be able to see what is new in the aftermarket, but industry trends and what the future holds,” says Neil Pattemore, member of the GEA’s ATS working group.
“Today’s aftermarket companies are at a crossroads, in an increasingly competitive and regulated market, and must make decisions about their future.”
“Visitors want to know more about the increasingly difficult aspects affecting their businesses – the march of vehicle technology, the impact of health and safety legislation or employment law, what technical training is available, and if they should consider the ATA and BSI accreditation programmes.”
Changes to this year’s show, April 25-27 at the Birmingham NEC, are modest. Alongside the usual parts and workshop equipment stands will be displays for the Institute of the Motor Industry, Retail Motor Industry Federation, VOSA, the Health and Safety Executive and Business Link.
Proposals under consideration for ATS 2007 include the running of seminars and workshops.