Every other year since 1960 has been a ‘Reifen’ year, but 2016 was different. This year’s show not only marked the final time the world’s largest tyre trade fair took place as an independent event, it was also the last Reifen show to be held before a new and major rival enters the picture.
A couple of months after the last Reifen show took place in Essen, Katharina C. Hamma, chief operating officer at Koelnmesse GmbH told Tyres & Accessories why she thinks The Tire Cologne is the exhibition to replace it. Tyres & Accessories: How does the tire cologne differ from the previous event in Essen? Katharina C. […]
Sometimes tyre people are creatures of habit. They like what they know and they know what they like. So when change comes it can feel disorientating. But change is also the engine of progress. And standing still is virtually synonymous with going backwards.
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.
In a move that Messe Essen has described as “trailblazing”, yet may be interpreted by some as a back down in the face of new competitor trade show The Tire Cologne, from 2018 onward the Reifen exhibition will no longer be held in its traditional mid-year time slot or in the German city of Essen. Instead of going head-to-head with The Tire Cologne in the week of 29 May to 1 June 2018, Reifen has been rescheduled to take place alongside Automechanika in Frankfurt from 11 to 15 September.
Messe Essen’s Reifen show will be the epicentre of the global tyre industry from 24 to 27 May 2016. The event organiser has confirmed that the 20 largest tyre manufacturers in the world will be present, including key players such as Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper Tires, Goodyear, Falken Tyre Europe, Hankook, Maxxis, Michelin, Pirelli and Yokohama. The demand for stand space for workshop equipment providers is also growing, according to Messe Essen: Corghi, Rema Tip Top and Snap-on will all be amongst the exhibitors.
The Tire Cologne – the Koelnmesse organised rival exhibition to Messe Essen’s Reifen series, commencing in 2018 – has fired the starting pistol in its registration phase. The exhibition, which will take place in Cologne at the same time as Reifen 2018 in Essen (29 May to 1 June 2018), will feature important tyre and wheel business players from across the industry.
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.
The largest and oldest continuously-held tyre trade fair in Europe is the Reifen show, held every two years in the German city of Essen. And while Reifen has existed for years in relative harmony alongside other regional exhibitions, such as Manchester-based Brityrex, at the start of 2014 a brand new tyre trade event was announced, and this appears to have gotten under the skin of Reifen organiser, Messe Essen. What sets this new show apart is that it will enjoy the support of Reifen’s current main sponsor, and will take place only 45 miles away from Essen – at exactly the same time. Given this clash of dates it seems, to paraphrase a cliché from Western films, that the town isn’t big enough for the two of them: A tyre show showdown looms on the horizon.
Anyone thinking about taking in a tyre show in Germany four years from now will need to schedule their itinerary very carefully. It’s already been reported that current ‘Reifen’ show sponsor the BRV (the German Federal Association of the Tyre Trade and the Vulcanisers’ Skilled Trade) will, come 2018, trade its long-term partner for a new exhibition some 40 miles from the Essen exhibition centre. But what’s only now become clear is that Germany will not only host two tyre shows in the same general vicinity – both will also be held at exactly the same time.