This year sees CITExpo relocate to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center
This year the China International Tire Expo returns to Shanghai for the 14th time, and 2016 is a significant year for the show as it represents the start of a new era. Instead of taking place at the Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Centre, where it has been held for the past decade, on 26 September CITExpo – arguably China’s most significant tyre industry fair – will open its doors at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center (SWEECC). The change of venue offers a substantial increase in available exhibitor floorspace, and visitors will benefit from modern, attractive facilities and easier transport connections.
“This new venue provides a bigger and more open space on a flat floorplan rather than the three-level building in the old venue,” comments Wilko Fong, managing director of show organiser Reliable International Exhibition Services. “Exhibitors and visitors will have a better and more convenient environment and use this leading trade platform more effectively in the new venue.” According to Fong, the exhibition area in 2016 will be around 50 per cent larger than at last year’s show, with a total exhibition floorspace of 45,000 square metres. This means that the more than 350 confirmed exhibitors – a slight rise on last year’s attendance list – have ample space in which to welcome existing and potential customers and present their wares.
“Many long-time exhibitors seized the opportunity to book larger stands in order to showcase their latest products and better accommodate their customers,” Fong notes. “In addition, many new, first-time exhibitors were convinced by the new venue’s superior exhibition space and environment.” The organiser elaborates on this enthusiasm from new exhibitors: “We’re very loyal to our established customers and we do everything possible to accommodate their requests regarding stand location. At the old venue this meant that potential new exhibitors, even large companies, often found the only available stand sites were upstairs, away from the main exhibition area (last year’s CITExpo took place on three levels, with a marquee outside housing those exhibitors that couldn’t squeeze inside). At the SWEECC, all exhibitors are housed in two large halls, and as we’ve significantly improved the space limitations we faced in the past, we can offer more area and prime sites for larger companies to choose from. We’re confident that companies, whether large or small, can now arrange an exhibition presence that best presents their products and corporate image.”
CITExpo has long been home to exhibitors engaged in the manufacture and distribution of tyres, wheels and related accessories, and Wilko Fong shares that this year the product spectrum has expanded to include a number of new products and services from within the industry. These include companies specialising in tyre marking systems, vibration sensors and rim repair and improvement services.
Tougher times, but still plenty of opportunities
Reliable launched CITExpo in 2003, at a time of seemingly unstoppable growth for China’s tyre industry. Annual national tyre production rocketed from some 93 million pieces in 2002 to around ten times that amount a decade later, however even the most optimistic of players should have realised that increases of this magnitude are not sustainable indefinitely. The country is now home to around 500 tyre makers – nobody seems to know the exact number, but it’s more than can be found in the rest of the entire world. And these 500 or so manufacturers have a combined capacity way beyond current demand; according to some reports, only about half of China’s passenger car tyre production capacity is actually utilised at present, and the situation for truck tyres isn’t much better.
A high number of manufacturers vying for a share of a finite tyre market means downwards pressure on prices, and allegations of Chinese tyre makers selling their products overseas at dumping prices are nothing new. While tyre exports in 2015 declined 4.0 per cent in terms of tonnage exported, the value of these exports (in US$) fell 16.8 per cent, reports China’s General Administration of Customs; the average per kilogramme price of exported tyres sank from $2.90 to $2.50 “Since 2014, the situation within the global economy and in regards to anti-dumping duties has significantly affected the production and price levels of Chinese tyres,” observes Fong. “As organiser of a renowned tyre industry trade show, an exhibition that is very close to the industry, it is not difficult to witness a number of previously over-aggressive industry players that are now facing problems. We’ve seen a number of names become less active, however we also still see many strong players that need a platform like CITExpo to assist them in sourcing further business opportunities from new and existing customers and business partners. What’s happening today is similar in a way to the situation we saw back in 2008 when the global economic crisis began – at this critical time, the stronger players are more aggressively using CITExpo to present their position within the industry to global buyers.”
Last year’s show attracted visitors from more than 100 countries, a statistic that adds weight to CITExpo’s reputation as the most international of all tyre trade shows held in China. And the presence of international visitors is vital in a country where the new buzzwords within the tyre industry are consolidation and regulation.
At the start of last year we learned that Beijing Capital Tire Co. Ltd. had declared bankruptcy, and it was followed several months later by Shandong Deruibao Tire Co., Ltd. These two well-publicised bankruptcies are just the tip of the iceberg, however. A widely-circulated rumour in China, wrote US publication Tire Review last October, is that at least 100 factories, mostly those operated by smaller, independent tyre makers, have closed just in the region around Dongying, Shandong province.
China’s government, it would seem, has no great objection to wholesale closures. The China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) reports that the government wants to see tyre production decline by around 40 per cent in the coming three to four years, and the plan is for this drop in output to be accompanied by a reduction in the number of small-scale tyre makers operating in China. While new legislation aimed at further lifting product quality, including tyre labelling similar to that in Europe (the label’s rollout begins in 2016 and it is expected to become compulsory within several years), will play a role in weeding out the weaker players, a reduction in the number of tyre makers in China will also in part be achieved through the government’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. This aims to redirect overproduction within certain key industries to other countries, particularly those in Eurasia.
Measures such as these make it all the more important for companies to be seen, and Wilko Fong views CITExpo’s international flavour as advantageous for companies relocating under Belt and Road; many of the overseas visitors come from markets targeted by the national strategy. “CITExpo is the most internationalised trade shows within the region,” he states. “Making the show the best business platform for both exhibitors and visitors is always our top priority. Over the course of the past year we’ve striven to elevate our profile around the world, and our goal is to continue to make every effort to attract high quality industry professionals to our show and ensure that CITExpo offers the best environment and atmosphere for the industry players to meet, make deals and exchange information. And we now look forward to boosting cross-border relationships such as those created under the Belt and Road Initiative.”
This year’s CITExpo is billed at being “the biggest tyre and wheel trade show in the Asia-Pacific region” and will take place in Shanghai between 26 and 28 September. The latest news and information in the run-up to the show can be found either at tyrepress.com or on the official citexpo.com.cn website.
Category: International News