Reifen China 2010 Exhibitors Examine Post ITC Options
The third Reifen China exhibition, held in Shanghai between 11 and 13 November 2009, hosted 6,693 visitors (1,333 international visitors) during the show’s three days. These were welcomed to the show by exhibitors mainly from the world's largest production market. In addition to the wide variety of Chinese and international tyre manufacturers and traders at the show, the 2009 event featured an increased number of retreading equipment and consumables companies (such as tyre valve suppliers) over previous years.
It is worth pointing out that the above figures include visitors to the RubberTech China Show, which runs in parallel with the main Reifen China event. And in addition to the show proper, Reifen China organisers (Messe Essen, who also produce the market leading Essen Reifen Messe every two years) also laid on a collection of seminars discussing key industry topics.
The ITC tyre import tax discussion was particularly timely. This centred on a speech given by Chinese Ministry of Finance and Commerce (known as Mofcom) representative Wang Xin. In it he said tyre companies along with industry associations should seek a review of the 35 per cent import tariff brought in September (see separate articles for more on this).
Following discussions with the myriad Chinese-tyremakers in attendance there are a few additional observations worth mentioning. The leading tyremakers are obviously working hard to comply with current and future European legislative requirements, however a surprising number are not ready for tyre labelling (regulation 316) which will be implemented in 2012. More shocking still, some manufacturers – including one newbuild Chinese petro-chemical based tyremaker – hadn’t even heard of s-marking. Companies like this may be looking to build large factories, but they are ill-prepared for highly regulated markets such as Europe.
Which brings me nicely onto the next point. Despite all the suggestions that Europe will become destination one for all the tyres Chinese tyremakers can’t sell in the US, this isn’t necessarily the case. True there have been some examples of large tyre factories phoning wholesalers and offering “rock-bottom prices,” but a surprising number of the companies listed the Middle East and African markets as the first choice for developing new volume tyre sales in light of the ITC ruling. Could this be exactly because of the regulatory hurdles some companies still need to leap? Time will tell.
However, it is important not to tar every Chinese tyre maker with the same brush. While large tyre makers which had previously been at Reifen China were not present in 2009 (Pirelli and Giti to name but two), leading manufacturers that did invest in the Shanghai event included: Double Coin Holdings Ltd., HangZhou ZhongCe Rubber Co. Ltd; Shandong Linglong Rubber Co.; and Beijing Capital Tire Co., Ltd. Cooper Tire and Rubber Asia Pacific (representing the company’s Cooper Chengshan joint venture) was arguably the most prominent.