Exhibitors signing up for next year following successful CITExpo 2012
Over the last decade China’s tyre industry has worked hard to overcome the scepticism of many market observers in the West, and today the country boasts a number of brands established as credible players in Europe and North America. Their journey to domestic and international success has been aided by Chinese trade shows, including the annual China International Tire Expo, or CITExpo show. In September, the tenth edition of CITExpo took place in Shanghai. Speaking with Tyres & Accessories at its conclusion, the managing director of the company behind CITExpo reported a very successful show.
“This year we received 7,195 visitors,” shared Wilko Fong, managing director of show organiser Reliable International Exhibition Services. This figure is just over the number recorded in 2011. Fong added that 3,035, or 42.2 per cent, of these visitors came from outside of China, with Reliable receiving registrations from 105 countries. “Some say we have so many Chinese distributors but I say the show is very international,” he observed. “International buyers are coming here to meet new suppliers. They can see a lot of new, improved products here.”
The majority of this year’s 305 exhibitors (up from 298 in 2011) were Chinese-based companies, however Tyres & Accessories noted that a large number of these were geared towards international markets and some were exclusively export-oriented. While Europe remains an important destination for many CITExpo 2012 exhibitors, others commented that the region’s economic problems and the introduction of new tyre-related legislation have made Europe less attractive. A recurrent theme when talking to exhibitors was the growing significance the Middle East and African markets holds for Chinese manufacturers and distributors. Those selling into the US also said they don’t anticipate any significant changes there following the end of tariffs later this month.
A lot of companies ‘have grown with us’
Returning to the changing perception of Chinese tyres over the past decade, Fong commented that “ten years ago there were a lot of problems with Chinese products, now they reach a lot of international standards and are growing their market share.” He also expressed pride that CITExpo has helped the world get to know some of today’s better-known Chinese brands: “We are very proud that a lot of companies, such as Chengshan, Double Coin and Techking, have grown along with us. This show has helped them establish their national exposure.”
This year’s CITExpo took place in three halls at the Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center, with exhibitor floorspace covering 24,000 square metres. This is a far cry from the first show, which occupied 1,000 square metres. Reflecting on CITExpo’s evolution, Fong said “we started the show in 2003. The first year we only had 60 exhibitors. Now this has grown to more than 300 – CITExpo has grown more than six or seven times in a decade. Organising the very first show was difficult, as there were a lot of unscrupulous shows in China at that time and people were wary. Another teething trouble was that in the early years, not many staff on exhibitors stands spoke English. Now the exhibitors are more ‘international ready’.”
2013 floorspace going fast
Those interested in exhibiting at CITExpo in 2013 are advised to confirm their plans sooner rather than later – on the last day of this year’s show Wilko Fong told Tyres & Accessories that halls one and two were already sold out next year, and the third hall was filling fast. A total of 195 exhibitors had booked for 2013 by the end of this year’s show. “Our show next year will be even bigger, I think,” commented Fong. “Perhaps we will have to use an additional hall.”
Wilko Fong added that CITExpo has grown every year, even during the economic crisis: “Growth is healthy, and the show is now acknowledged by the tyre industry. It has everything – tyres, wheels, tubes, accessories. The show is very successful in terms of exhibitor investment – they spend on stand presentations.
“People have been fighting for positions at next year’s show,” he continued. “This is a good sign, as it shows that the exhibition helps companies. This has especially been the case in the last two years, during the time when economic problems have affected the industry. Companies need a high quality show where they can meet new clients and contacts – previously, in better economic times, perhaps they had enough contacts.”