Issue: Nov 2007


EQUIP AUTO 2007



by James Hilton

EQUIP AUTO 2007, which took place 15-20 October at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center, recorded 104,137 visitors and reinforced its worldwide audience with a remarkable level of international attendance (32% of foreign visitors). EQUIP AUTO also mobilized 2,070 exhibitors, including 80% international exhibitors. The organizers, while very pleased with this international success, lamented, however, a significantly lower number of national visitors, penalized by the paralysis of public transport which, for three of the six days of the show, made travel throughout the entire country extremely laborious.

Three days without RER (Paris metropolitan and regional rail system), two days with virtually no TGV (high-speed trains) or main line trains, together with endless traffic jams on major routes throughout France, led to cancellations from a number of delegations of French automotive professionals that have traditionally made EQUIP AUTO the essential gathering for the entire profession, from design to maintenance.

In this particularly disadvantageous context, the significant increase in the level of international visitor numbers stands out, reaching this year 32% (compared with 20% in 2001, 26% in 2003, and 30.1% in 2005). This rate represents an increase in absolute value (+ 2.0%) with greater representation from the new centers of dynamism in the international motor trade (China, India, Russia, Brazil).
In addition, through all sectors involved in globalization, from design to maintenance, many exhibitors spoke of a particularly high level of commercial contacts and a fruitful business climate.

Finally, mention ought to be made of the dynamism of exhibitors, who presented – in vehicle equipment as in garage equipment – designs and products of a remarkable level of creativity. Their dynamics of innovation were exceptional, as highlighted by the International ‘Grands Prix’ Awards for Automotive Innovation awarded by a jury of 82 journalists representing 28 countries.

A thorough statistical analysis of overall visitor numbers will be carried out in coming days and will be released to the press at the same time as the results of a qualitative and quantitative assessment survey conducted with both visitors and exhibitors. Beyond the problems of access that clearly had an impact on the show’s national visitor numbers, what will be remembered of the 2007 show is EQUIP AUTO’s growing international impact, which places this event ever more directly in the globalization context of the automotive sector. EQUIP AUTO is already supporting this globalization with the launch of EQUIP AUTO Moscow from 27 February to 1 March 2008 and the third EQUIP AUTO Algeria from 31 March to 3 April 2008.


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