Tyrexpo Africa Continues to Grow
The second staging of the Tyrexpo Africa exhibition was generally perceived to be successful by exhibitor companies, who welcomed an increased number of industry buyers and delegates at the recent exhibition in Johannesburg. Tyres & Accessories was there and this month brings you the exhibitor highlights in the context of the current business environment.
Independently audited figures released by show organiser ECI International confirm a healthy six per cent increase in visitor numbers, up to 2,478 compared to the inaugural event in 2006. 130 exhibitors occupied around 5,000 sq.m of exhibition space in the Sandton Convention centre, with a 40/60 split between African suppliers and those from overseas. China, with 35 individual exhibitors, was the major presence, heading a truly international line-up made up of more than 60 different countries.
South Africa is a middle-income emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well developed financial, legal, communications and transport sectors; a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world; and a modern infrastructure supporting relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the country.
However, growth has not been strong enough to lower South Africa’s high unemployment rate and the daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era – especially poverty and lack of monetary empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative but pragmatic focusing on targeting inflation and liberalising trade as a means to increase job growth and household income – which means there is definite opportunity for those willing to do business here.
One example of a company that has thrived in these conditions is South Africa’s Chemvulc Marketing, which celebrated 30 years in business at the show. Sales director Danny Kirsten were positive about their involvement in the show: “Being able to meet visitors from Africa and the surrounding countries face to face was a big plus as in some cases we were not aware of their business ventures. Another factor was that we were able to meet and conduct business with a number of international customers.”
A further satisfied business was Imex Tyres, who commented: “Our attendance at the expo has brought us major enquiries relating to various exports opportunities as well as new business prospects for our markets. We’ll be back in 2010.”
And Srinivasan Ramamurthy, head of international marketing for Elgitread of India commented: “We kept busy up on the second day of the show with quality enquiries from prospective customers and were able establish many new contacts.
Another company who will be returning for the next show in two years time is Dutch retreader and wholesaler Bandenmarkt, managing director Leen van’t Hof has already confirmed a doubling of stand space for 2010. He said: “Participating in Tyrexpo Africa was a pleasure. After the initial event in 2006, was somewhat visitor light, this year’s event was very well supported.
Joaquin Gonzalez, chief operating officer for Tire Group Inc of the United States, said he hoped the show would help expand his company’s trading presence in the region. “The Africa show, without a doubt, was a complete triumph for us, due to the high number of new customer leads that it generated.”
Up and up
Rowena Suthers, sales director for ECI, believes that the exhibition is growing in stature after a second successful staging: “The general feedback from exhibitors and visitors was that the show was a good deal better than 2006 and certainly growing in stature. The second day proved the busiest and again exhibitor feedback recognised the quality rather than quantity of visitors, which is generally in line with our other events in the UK and Asia.
“We have been very encouraged by the feedback so far and will be working hard to continue its development as a major event in the African tyre industry calendar. Tyrexpo Africa will be back in two years time, in March 2010,” she confirmed.
Exhibition stands at Tyrexpo Africa 2008 were of a particularly high calibre, reflecting substantial investment from principals, especially by Bandag, which celebrated its 50th anniversary at the show by winning the Platinum Award for Best Stand Design. Other winners were CFP Tyres, which clinched the Gold and Tandem/Techking Tyres and Tubestone, who shared the Silver award.
Overall, the show reflected a keen emphasis on OTR tyres for the important mining and construction industry in South Africa. Retreading companies such as Leadertread, Imex, and Elgitread, recognised this trend by emphasising specialist materials for the OTR and earthmoving sector. There was also a strong showing of passenger and truck tyres.
The workshop and depot equipment side of the business was better represented than in 2006, with a comprehensive presence from machinery and equipment suppliers including: Leaderquip, Snap-On, Wheelquip, Syco Machinery and Hofmann Megaplan.
The only consistent disappointment expressed by exhibitors and visitors was the absence of major domestic tyre manufacturers, who visited the show as delegates but did not feel able to support their industry by exhibiting.