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Automotive Industries interviews Kevin Wu, manager of Section VI, Exhibition Department TAITRA
Taiwan co-hosting two automotive exhibitions simultaneously in April.

For the first time, Taiwan will be co-hosting two automotive exhibitions simultaneously in April. The 2007 Taipei International Auto Parts & Accessories Show – one of Asia’s largest auto parts show – and the 2007 Taipei International Automobile Electronics Show or AutoTronics Taipei which is an increasingly popular auto-electronics show, will be hosted from April 2 to 5 in Taipei. The 2006 Taipei International Auto Parts & Accessories Show was the world’s third largest show with 37,000 visitors, 900 exhibitors and over 5000 international buyers.

The organizers of both shows, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council or TAITRA and the Taiwan Electrical & Electronic Manufacturers’ Association or TEEMA had earlier joined hands to host the first AutoTronics Taipei last April. That show attracted 140 exhibitors and had 20,000 visitors. AutoTronics 2006 highlighted Taiwan’s strengths and business opportunities in the information technology and automotive electronics sectors.

According to the organizers, this year’s two exhibitions are likely to beat earlier records in terms of interest generated. “Massive industry growth underpins the secret behind the dazzling success of these shows with Taiwan’s total production value of automobiles & motorcycles last year reaching US$ 16.68 billion, up 4.6% over the previous year. Auto parts and motorcycle parts account for nearly half of the industry’s total production, a sector that helped the industry reach a production value of US$8.11 billion in 2005,” says a statement from the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs goes on to say that over the last decade, Taiwan’s exports of automotive and motorcycle parts have grown steadily at an average rate of 8.8 per cent to touch USD 4.59 billion in 2005. Taiwan has recently stepped up its efforts to build itself up as a global procurement supply hub for automotive parts and auto electronics. A major plus point for Taiwan is its geographical position at the crossroads of three Asian economic regions – north-ease Asia, Greater China and the ASEAN bloc – make it particularly viable as a sourcing hub for automotive companies. The country also has a well-developed logistical infrastructure and a pool of highly skilled labor.

Last year, Delphi Automotives System purchased over 20 different types of automotive parts and came back in October for further procurement deals with Taiwanese suppliers.
Similarly, Kirochhoff Automotive, a leading German auto parts manufacturer, recently conducted a procurement seminar in Taipei. According to Taiwanese government sources, GM is planning to buy global positioning systems or GPS from Taiwan for its Saturn model.

This year’s 2007 Taipei International Auto Parts & Accessories Show will have 900 exhibitors with over 2,600 booths. Companies like TYC Brother Ind., Depo Auto Parts, Gordon Auto Body Parts, Mycarr Lighting Technology, and Macauto Ind, will be participating. AutoTronics Taipei 2007 on the other hand, will have companies like STMicroelectronics, E-Lead Electronic, Everlight electronics, Tung Thih Ent., Taiwan Calsonic, Hamg Shing Technology, Mobiletron Electronics, Lite-On Automotive, and Aerospace Ind. Development Corporation taking part.

“Overseas buyers have been very upbeat about how TAITRA has mobilized its 44 overseas branch offices to aggressively recruit overseas exhibitors. That effort has attracted such leading companies as Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Magna, Delphi, TATA Motor, Saipa Automobile, Ford, Alpine, FIAT, Denso, Fujitsu, Omron, Siemens, Johnson Control, Robert Bosch, Diavia, Inter Cars, Halfords, Herimarc, Futuris, JC Auto, and Wal-Mart. All these firms sent representatives to view the latest technology and products of the two shows and have vowed to return next April 2-5, 2007,” says a statement on the TAITRA website.

TEEMA and TAITRA’s mission is to establish Taiwan as a hi-tech island and assist the government in the planning of technological industrial policies and foster local talent. The organization also acts as a catalyst between industries and the government. Out of TEEMA’s 4,421 members, nearly 37 per cent export to the US, nearly 7 per cent to China, 4.97 per cent to Japan, 2.85 per cent to Germany and the rest to the UK and other countries.

Automotive electronics are increasingly becoming a core business area for Taiwanese companies. This year’s AutoTronics Taipei will concentrate on areas such as safety. Taiwanese automotive electronics firms are concentrating on aspects like tire pressure monitor systems, cruise systems, CCD image sensors and car approach detectors.

Taiwan believes that the growing demand for tire pressure monitor systems will increase from 330,000 sets in 2003 to 17.2 million sets in 2007 accounting for a yearly growth rate of output over 30%. It is estimated that in 2008, the yearly output will exceed 100 million sets. Companies in Taiwan like Universal Scientific Industrial Co Ltd, Lite-On Automotive Corp, Mobiletron Electronics Co Ltd, Rohde & Schwarz Taiwan Ltd, Tung Thih Enterprise Co Ltd, Vision Automobile Electronics Industrial Co Ltd, FTECH Corporation, KUENDER Co, Tai Electrical Products Inc, and Orange Electronic Co Ltd, all manufacture these systems as well as other automotive electronics products.

According to TAITRA’s figures, Taiwan’s 2005 annual trade volume reached USD 371 billion, an increase of 8.5% from 2004. Of the total, exports grew 8.8 per cent to USD 189.3 billion, while imports rose by 8.2 per cent to USD181.6 billion. Moreover, under the guidance of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and with the collaboration of TAITRA staff, export results for some of TAITRA’s key target promotion markets, such as India, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan enjoyed an impressive 10 per cent growth in trade volume. Among them, both India and Brazil stood apart with increases of 47 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.

Nine new branch offices were established by TAITRA, which is a foremost non-profit trade promotion organization in the Republic of China on Taiwan which was founded in 1970 to help promote foreign trade. It strives to provide broader and more comprehensive services for local traders, as well as for foreign enterprises interested in doing business with Taiwan. Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Chicago, Vancouver, Barcelona, Sofia, Bucharest, and Johannesburg are the newest cities, making the total number of TAITRA’s overseas offices 44. These branches, together with some 63 MOEA branches, serve as a worldwide marketing network, focused on meeting global traders’ needs. These efforts translated into companies like BMW, YKK, GE, LG, Delphi, Tata, and Caterpillar getting into procurement contracts worth USD 505 million with Taiwanese suppliers.

TEEMA, on the other hand, is an association made up of member manufacturers. “Under the joint endeavor of the successive chairmen, directors, supervisors and the administrative staff, the organization has established a sound and performing modus operandi – a model which has striven not only for the benefits and protections for the industries, but also a communication link bridging with the government The association has been highly commended in assisting her members by upgrading the manufacturing technologies, expansion of international marketing ability and the operation management. It is simply due to the efforts of the members in conjunction with the development guidance and policies from the government that TEEMA is not only the largest but also the most influential association,” says a statement on the organization’s website.
Reflecting the importance Taiwan places on auto electronics, in early 2005, TEEMA created an automobile electronics consortium. The Taiwanese government budgeted USD 303 million to develop the industry. Media reports quoted TEEMA’s officials as saying that the consortium would become operational with two special interest groups-with one dedicating to crucial components such as parts for security, safety, car body and the other focusing on innovative services including system integration.
In August 2006, media reports quoted Liu Yi-cheng, chairman of the Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association as saying: “The automotive electronics sector stands a good chance to be another trillion-NT-dollar industry in Taiwan if the local automotive and information and communication technology (ICT) players can set up effective cross-industrial alliances.”

Liu went on to predict that new car sales globally would cross 90-million units by 2020, with automotive-electronics and parts expected to contribute 30 to 40 per cent of the sticker price. The advice to local manufacturers – go for original equipment manufacturer or OEM business rather than after-sales business. Tung Thih Enterprise Co Ltd for example, makes electronics for Ford, Shanghai GM and Nissan. In 2006, the Taiwanese cabinet earmarked USD 152 million to help the country develop an intelligent vehicle industry by 2010. The prototype is expected to roll out in 2008.

Automotive Industries spoke to Kevin Wu, manager of Section VI, Exhibition Department TAITRA

AI: Please tell us a little bit about how successful your earlier auto exhibitions have been?
Last year AMPA 2006 had 2,243 booths that drew more than 40,000 visitors, and AutoTronics 2006 featured 315 booths that welcomed 20,000 visitors.

And, most of the big buyers from overseas have vowed to return. That line-up includes Daimler-Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Magna, Delphi, TATA Motor, Saipa Automobile, Ford, Alpine, FIAT, Denso, Fjuitsu, Omron, Siemens, Johnson Control, Robert Bosch, Diavia, Inter Cars, Halfords, Herimarc, Futuris, JC Auto, and Wal-Mart.

Almost all famous Taiwanese companies are represented in these two events. In fact, exhibitors demand for booth space far outstrips that available. That’s why TAITRA, the show organizer, is striving to meet the need by expanding the 2008 AMPA venue to the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall that doubles exhibition space..

AI: What will be different in terms of the exhibition’s organization this year?

First off, it’s the first time Autotronics is being staged with AMPA. That is itself is a positive move for the entire field. We are also featuring the Innovation Products Pavilion, AutoTronics Forum, Industry Workshops & Seminars, Purchasing Policy Seminar, Trade Meeting, and Insights on the Global Auto Parts Market, Auto IT Total Solution Pavilion, and GPS Pavilion.

These dual shows display the latest products and technologies like engine parts & fittings, body parts, steering systems, auto repair kits, power transmissions, brake systems, auto accessories, telematics / drive information systems, auto safety & security systems, auto electronic components & parts, and auto semiconductors.

AI: What kind of interest has this year’s exhibition generated and from which countries?

It’s interesting to note that the combined shows have a record 127 foreign exhibitor count. Participants represent 14 nations, including the USA, Italy, France, Swiss, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. And this year we’ve even sliced off the motorcycle parts and accessories portion of the show and reorganized it into its own TAIPEI MOTORCYCLE SHOW that’s running solo this May 18-20, 2007.

By doing this we’ve achieved a record size and greater focus for progress in auto parts and auto electronics. Most buyers greatly appreciate this transition and we project buyer numbers to increase, especially from Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

AI: How do you think TAITRA’s exhibitions have helped Taiwan emerge as a procurement hub for automotive companies?

The momentum of this huge industry rests upon having the ideal platform to deliver Taiwan’s message and products to the world. By bringing together Taiwan’s rich but diverse products and scattered company groupings, TAITRA automotive exhibitions serve to consolidate this industry at Asia’s top global procurement hub.

Taiwan output is increasingly globally connected at all levels and markets, and domestic producers – often noted for their outstanding R&D facilities, are intensely focused and specialized. But these tens of thousands of producers are spread about both at home and abroad and require AMPA as a key procurement hub and strategic center for consolidation.

AI: What is the reasoning behind the combining 2007 Taipei International Auto Parts & Accessories Show and 2007 AutoTronics Taipei?

Taiwan’s auto parts sector plays a vital role in the global industry and the value composition of electronics on each vehicle is growing 7.5% annually. In addition, these two sectors perfectly represent the strengths of our industry since electronics is Taiwan’s largest industry and autoparts a significant leader. Both industries are in rapid growth, transition, and conversion.

That’s why for the coming year we’ve reorganized them to offer this joint venue. These joint shows at same place and time reflect how vehicles are increasingly getting smarter and graduating from traditional garage gear. As a result April’s show brings together two giants — AMPA, Asia’s largest parts show and places it alongside AutoTronics with all the strength and potential of Taiwan’s IT industry.

And that means a vast super-size show packed with opportunity at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Halls 1, 2, and 3.

AI: How have you marketed this joint exhibition abroad? And what has been the reaction from exhibitors?

We have been operating on many fronts. Our efforts include a major press conference at AutoMechanika Frankfurt for several trade media organizations. At Las Vegas our stand at AAPEX drew hundreds of buyers interested in visiting Taiwan. Our light boxes at Frankfurt Airport and HongKong Airport have also whet the interest of hundreds of buyers to join these shows. In addition, our 40 branch offices overseas have invited thousands of buyers from every facet of industry.

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