Messe Essen, the organisers of the biennial Reifen event, looks likely to bow out gracefully at the end of an era represented by this year’s show. In the last Essen-hosted show ahead of its “trailblazing” move alongside Frankfurt’s Automechanika show in September 2018, or retreat in the face of Koelnmesse’s rival Tire Cologne show (see the April edition of Tyres & Accessories for complete details of the move, then delete as you see fit), the 24 to 27 May show will host 675 exhibitors, presenting their innovations for the tyre sector. This, Messe Essen states, represents a new record number of exhibitors in Reifen’s decades-long history. The organisers have also notched up another record with regard to the exhibition area: Reifen 2016 will occupy just over 60,000sqm of exhibition space.
Having made its debut in 2014, Messe Essen and the Chinese United Rubber Corporation (CURC) have extended the contract for Rubber Tech Europe up to and including 2020. Rubber Tech China, the Asian predecessor to Rubber Tech Europe, has been held annually alongside Reifen China since 2007, with the former taking three halls at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre to the latter’s one. The new agreement will give Rubber Tech Europe, which started with a space in hall six in Essen’s Reifen 2014, the chance to develop into a more substantial component of the biannual event, with the backing from Messe Essen for the next three Reifen shows. The show within a show is one part of Messe Essen’s strategy to centralise international partnerships within its tyre show operations ahead of the BRV-backed The Tire Cologne show, to be held at Koelnmesse in 2018. The company has also developed links with global aftermarket series, Automechanika.
The eighth annual “Asian Essen”, Reifen China took place at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in the first week of December, with some of the Chinese tyre industry’s major players rubbing shoulders for the last time in 2014. The European side of the Sino-German partnership behind the annual show, Messe Essen stated that it expected the presence of around 120 exhibitors in hall W1 and 15,000 trade visitors. This latter figure, unconfirmed at the time of writing, takes into account the other three-quarters of the twin exhibition; RubberTech China 2014 and the International Exhibition on Rubber & Elastomer, led by the China United Rubber Corporation, comprised around 500 exhibitors across another three halls (W2-4). Messe Essen CEO, Oliver P Kuhrt stressed the importance of the ‘Reifen’ brand’s presence in China, stating in his introduction to the show that it “stands for the success of a fair made in Essen extending across borders”. With about two thirds of the exhibitors at May’s Reifen 2014 visiting Essen from outside Germany, Messe Essen also noted the importance of Reifen China in recruiting Asian participants, whose attention the exhibition organiser has drawn in Shanghai.
As the Chinese government announced the modernization of its governance system – including further acknowledge of the role market forces play in its development – the minister responsible for the tyre industry joined other dignitaries in opening Reifen China 2013 in Shanghai today. Early visitor numbers are not yet available, but there are anecdotal indications that the show is on-track to achieve is pre-exhibition goals in terms of both visitor and exhibitor numbers. The show’s organisers also launched RubberTech Europe 2014 preparations on opening day (more on this below).