CITExpo “a Comprehensive Platform Serving the Tyre Industry”
CITExpo 2009 takes place at the Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Centre between 9 and 11 September. With much significance attached to numbers in the host nation, and nine considered the luckiest of all the single-digit numerals, September 9, 2009, or 09-09-09, is not only an easy date to remember, it is also a very fortuitous one. The organiser of the CITExpo exhibition in Shanghai, Reliable International Exhibition Services, certainly hopes this will prove to be the case, following a year in which the tyre business, like most global industries, has come under increased financial pressure. However, Wilko Fong – managing director of Reliable – told Tyres & Accessories that the worldwide slump has not overtly affected the running of the show.
“It is encouraging that our show has not been affected by the worldwide market shrinking demand,” he said. “At the same moment of last year, this year we have recorded 5 per cent increase in number of exhibitors and 10 per cent increase in sold space. There were 210 exhibitors registered before June 2008, and there are 225 exhibitors registered before June 2009. Also, some exhibitors are feeling that the market is gradually picking up from the bottom already.”
Although worldwide demand for tyre related products has declined since last year, both returning and new CITExpo exhibitors have, says Reliable, expressed a desire in meeting potential buyers at the exhibition and see this as a way of avoiding the affects of shrinking market demand. As of March, 70 per cent of floor space had already been booked by more than 200 exhibitors.
Previewing the CITExpo show, Arno Borchers interviewed Fong for Tyres & Accessories about the ability of the expo to stand up to the negative financial tides, what stands visitors can expect to find at this year’s show, and the advantages of going to Shanghai.
Arno Borchers: Over the past months, there has been quite a lot of news about the recession and how much companies from the automotive industry are suffering from it. But apparently, the CITExpo show is swimming against the tide? How is that?
Wilko Fong: Since the worldwide financial crisis triggered in September 2008, we have been paying close attention to how serious our CITExpo show would be affected, especially we have seen many domestic and foreign exhibitions cancelled or postponed. Inevitably there are some old exhibitors who have closed down and now disappeared from the market and of course from our show too. Also there are a few foreign companies being affected by the economy and not exhibiting in our show this year. However, we are excited to see that there are more companies of better quality standing with their strength in the market and acting positively to this economy situation.
I can share some encouraging numbers with you to demonstrate our positive situation: At three months prior to the show’s opening, there is a 5 per cent increase in number of confirmed exhibitors (250 companies) and 8 per cent increase in sold exhibition space comparing to the same moment last year. Among them, 54 old exhibitors have booked the bigger stands than last year and 52 exhibitors are new to CITExpo. Also, we have been talking to our exhibitors in the past few months and some of them are feeling that the domestic and world wide tyre market seems to be picking up from the bottom gradually. They believe CITExpo is an ideal platform for them to enhance their company brand and to show their products to the market because they must do so to remain active in the market.
AB: Do you think that your show can actually benefit from the current economic situation to some extent? If so, why?
WF: This one-in-a-century financial crisis surely benefits CITExpo in some extent because CITExpo has shown its solid foundation and how the market players are recognising and supporting it. This unique moment can emphasize how CITExpo is distinguished from others.
AB: Why would it be important to exhibit and visit the upcoming CITExpo show in September?
WF: Trade shows are the best platforms for the companies to show to the market how good and healthy they are. Especially in the current economy situation that things change every day in the market, exhibitors and visitors should take part in CITExpo and allow themselves to stay close with the current market and the latest products and suppliers.
AB: What particular features make CITExpo attractive to international visitors?
WF: International visitors have always been a highlight of CITExpo. China is a unique market region where the world market is focusing to and the Chinese brands and most of the foreign brands are producing their products. International visitors may meet their suppliers and find the wide variety of products under one roof.
AB: What will be the dominant products that your exhibitors are going to show this year?
WF: CITExpo is a comprehensive platform serving the tyre industry. Visitors will find all kinds of products from in the tyre industry chain, including raw material, production equipment, tyres, wheels, tyre accessories, retreads…etc. In numbers, tyre companies are taking 50 per cent of the overall exhibitor counts, wheel and accessories take 15 per cent each, 10 per cent is taken by tyre maintenance equipments, and the rest are tyre production, retreads and other suppliers.
AB: What are the most interesting changes compared to the CITExpo show last year?
WF: This year, CITExpo will be held in the same exhibition building instead of two as previous years. We hope that visitors of CITExpo may walk the show more effectively in the three-day exhibition and to complete more potential deals with the exhibitors.
AB: Who will be the biggest exhibitor so far? Are there other majors attending your show as exhibitors?
WF: We don’t want to judge who are the biggest exhibitors because every exhibitor is playing an important role in our show and in the market. However, we are excited to see that there is an increase in the number of specially designed stands in CITExpo 2009. These companies are putting their efforts in building their brand names in front of the worldwide industry players. This year, we are happy to see a few high rankers such as Guizhou, Copper Chenshen as our first time exhibitors. Other familiar names such as Nankang, Hofmann, VMI Group…etc will also take place in CITExpo 2009.
AB: Can you share some of your growth figures with us?
WF: Yes, we are happy to see CITExpo is still growing in the current economy environment. As of June, there is 5 per cent increase in number of exhibitors and 8 per cent increase in sold space compared to the same moment of last year. We expect the final overall exhibitor number will reach 300.
AB: What are the benefits of the Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center?
WF: The reason of CITExpo taking place in Everbright is its geographic location. Shanghai is a well-known city of China and can be easily reached by both foreign guests and domestic guests. And Everbright is located in the heart district of Shanghai and that is why it is picked for holding CITExpo.
AB: Why is it that the Automotive Testing event does not take place anymore as a concurrent event?
WF: We have made the decision of holding the two shows in consecutive periods because of the growing of the two shows. Last year, we have anticipated that the tyre show required more exhibition space for its growing. Also, we wanted to put the entire show in one building instead of two separate buildings and let the visitors to have a more comfortable and easier floor plan for looking for their suppliers in the show.
AB: Have you ever thought about running the CITExpo show somewhere else, maybe at Beijing where your company Reliable International Exhibition Services is based?
WF: When we pick a city for holding a particular show, we must consider the nature of that show and the show location should best benefit the participants. We believe that import-oriented trade shows are better off to change cities in order to cover more regions in the Chinese market. However, we know that a bigger portion of the CITExpo exhibitors are export-oriented, we still believe Shanghai should be the best city to hold CITExpo at this moment.
AB: Apart from the show itself, why should somebody come and visit Shanghai for a couple of days?
WF: Shanghai is one of the most metropolitan cities in China and Shanghai is definitely a symbol of how China has been developing in the past decade. I would strongly suggest that our international guests should spend a few extra days to explore this fantastic country.
Besides the major Chinese manufacturers, some foreign brands such as Copper ChengShan Tire from USA, Nankang from Taiwan (China), Maxam Tire from Italy, Hofmann from Germany, S&H Tyres BV and The VMI Group from Holland, 31 Incorporated from USA, Zumbo Wheels from Australia, Stamford from Singapore and more will be presented by their Chinese representatives, joint venture companies and other suppliers in this year’s show.
Passenger, industrial, OTR tyres will still be the major exhibits in the show. Highlights will be more wheels, tyre maintenance equipments and accessories exhibiting this year. A complete range of products makes CITEXPO a one stop trade show and an excellent information exchanging platform for the tyre industry chain.
Part of the remit of CITEXPO’s organiser is to help the local suppliers to ensure their exporting products meeting the high international standards in order to enlarge the global market share. In February of 2009, CITEXPO’s organizer had again organized a Chinese tyre manufacturer pavilion to visit the Tire Technology Expo held in Hamburg, Germany. Most of the top Chinese tyre manufacturers joined the pavilion and they all have been updated with the latest technologies and equipments in tyre manufacturing and testing during the 3-day show. By applying the latest technologies and equipments in the Chinese tyre production lines, CITEXPO’s organiser believes that the Chinese tyre products will be continuously raising the recognition by the global market. The organiser will continue to bring from Germany one of the most famous events in the automobile manufacturing industry, Automotive Testing Expo, into China. Automotive Testing Expo will be held in the week after CITEXPO.
Visitors who pre-register online at www.citepxo.com.cn will enjoy free admission, fast registration line, a copy of the show catalogue and a limited edition souvenir.