Visitor Numbers Reach New High
Arguably the world’s largest tyre trade exhibition, Reifen Messe Essen 2006 was the biggest show in the history of the exhibition. The 24th show since the exhibition premiered in 1960, this year’s event attracted 17,100 tyre specialists (up 8 per cent) from over 80 countries, according to the organisers. In amongst the 473 suppliers (up 15 per cent) from 42 countries, a handful of UK wholesalers (Bond International, King’s Road Tyres, Kirkby Tyres, Treadsetters, and North West Tyres) led the way for the 22-strong British company contingent.
In an interesting development this year’s show was attended by an unprecedented number of Chinese companies – Tyres & Accessories counted seven manufactures from the city of Qindao alone! Despite the stiff competition for the attention of buying visitors, research conducted by the show organisers found the business mood to be buoyant. 66 per cent of those questioned (versus 62 per cent in 2004) considered it to have been very favourable or favourable at the moment. Over 57 per cent (53) are expecting a substantial rise for the future. 31 per cent are assuming a stable development.
Around half of the visitors used the fair to place orders or to negotiate about specific transactions to the point that they were ready to sign deals. On average, the deals were in their tens of thousands, at the higher end of the five-digit scale. Transactions of over half a million and more are also said to have taken place during the show. According to the survey, 48 per cent of visitors will definitely put investment into effect on the basis of the information obtained at the exhibition. Overall 96.5 per cent of visitors praised the range the discussion possibilities on offer. 84 per cent of the visitors questioned had already decided that they would make a return visit to Reifen in two years time.
“Our optimistic expectations have been surpassed,” commented Dr Joachim Henneke, the chairman and CEO of Messe Essen. “[The show] has consolidated its place in the top group of European fairs with the strongest international charisma.” Towards the end of the fair, Peter Hülzer, the executive chairman of BRV – Bundesverband Reifenhandel und Vulkaniseur-Handwerk (the Federal tyre trade and vulcanisation association) also affirmed this suggestion, saying: “For the tyre industry, commerce and craftsmen, there is no comparable event anywhere in the world.”
The next Reifen show is scheduled to take place between 20 and 23 May 2008.
King’s Road Tyres
The 2006 show was “very successful” in terms of enquiries, said King’s Road Tyres’ (KRT) Adrian Bader. By this he means the company made sales, while also discovering new sourcing opportunities. The international aspect of the show obviously appealed to KRT as, according to Bader, the company sold tyres into businesses in South America, Africa and even as far away as New Zealand. Furthermore the wholesaler is said to be negotiating with a large supplier, with a view to introducing some new products to the UK. In Bader’s words, the dust hasn’t yet settled from the numerous enquiries on the stand.
North West Tyres / Hanksugi
Representatives from Hanksugi’s European distribution partner, North West Tyres report that the recent Essen show was “very successful.” As factory partner to Chinese-produced, Hanksugi brand, Morcambe-based North West tyres are responsible for distributing the tyres right across Europe, but the Essen show saw the company field enquiries from right around the world, including questions from Africa and South America.
Business has grown quickly since North West Tyres took on the Hanksugi contract last summer. Since then the company has promoted its new brand through the trade press, and exhibiting at exhibitions around the world. After Essen the next stop for Hanksugi is Tyrexpo Africa in Johannesburg, and the company is reportedly considering the relative merits of having a stand at next year’s Brityrex too.
In the 10 month’s since Northwest began the Hanskugi distribution operation the company has sold 20 containers-worth of tyres, including 7/8 in the UK. But not all of the sales have gone to market in the best known markets. According to North West’s Andy Hess, a surprising number of tyres have been sold in Cyprus. One dealer, who bought a four-digit unit quantity of tyres has yet to report any returns, a figure that is much better than the 3 per cent return rate the Cyrpus agent reasonably expected. All in all the sales figures are ahead of what North West had anticipated this time last year. And, according to Hess, the next 12 months look likely to be at least as successful.
As far as products are concerned the main items on display were the HS26+ and HS28+ truck tyres (both available in 11R22.5 to 315/80R22.5) and the HS38 wide tyre (only available in 385/65 R22.5). The company also promoted 11.75×22.5 and 9×22.5 commercial vehicle wheels.
Treadsetters was established in 1999, specialising in the wholesaling of truck and bus tyres. Today the company also supplies car and agricultural tyres from its 22,000 square foot warehouse in Telford. The company began investigating the supply potential from outside Europe; notably the CIS states, China and India, buying tyres on an ad hoc basis while the reliability of supply was evaluated.
This continued until 2003, when Treadsetters was approached by Regal Tyres of South Africa and JK Tyres of India to market their respective ranges of truck tyres within the UK. Regal are manufactured in Durban by Dunlop Tyres International, while JK Tyre was the first tyre company in the world to receive ISO quality accreditation for multi-location operations in one go.
Apart from these two brands, Treadsetters holds stocks of major truck tyre brands, as well as budget labels. The company has been appointed as the official UK distributor of the Antyre range of budget, high performance car tyres.
Treadsetters has continued to grow steadily and its presence at Reifen indicates that further growth is on the cards. The product range has expanded too and, in addition to truck and car tyres, the company can offer tractor/farm implement tyres, industrial, forklift and skid steer tyres, lawn, quad and ATV tyres, as well as a range of inner tubes and accessories.