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Innovation will irrigate all the different sectors of EQUIP AUTO

This October, EquipAuto 2007 will be held in Paris. The automotive fair which is held once every two years, showcases original equipment, aftermarket parts as well as garage equipment. To be held from October 15 to the 20th, this year’s EquipAuto theme is ‘Destination Innovation’. The show is expected to have 2,140 participants and attract more visitors than EquipAuto 2005 which had 137,566 visitors. The exhibition is divided into two categories, vehicle equipment and garage equipment.

The former includes automotive parts manufacturers, suppliers, Tier 1,2 and 3 suppliers, automotive subcontractors, competitiveness clusters, engineering and design offices, vehicle manufacturers, after sales networks, post-equipment (accessories and tuning) and the tire industry. The garage equipment component is made up of repair and maintenance, car wash, bodywork paint and tow trucks.

The show helps participants discover current and future technologies. It helps companies assess their potential and measure their market competitiveness and refine their development strategy. EquipAuto also helps participants and exhibitors evaluate and understand global challenges. The exhibition also provides services and information on professional services such as information technology and business diversification (used vehicles, car rentals, environment and recycling, insurance companies, financing, warranties, franchises and so on. The other areas EquipAuto covers are distribution, logistics, international trade, petroleum products, lubricants and additives.

EquipAuto has been attracting more international exhibitors every year. In 2001, 60 per cent of EquipAuto’s exhibitors were international participants and by 2005, this figure went up to 75 per cent. Similarly, while international visitors made up just 20 per cent of total visitors, by 2005, this had risen to 30 per cent.

The EquipAuto team traveled to China in 2006 in order to attract more exhibitors from that country. They met high level officials, manufacturers and exhibition organizers. The objective being to ensure that EquipAuto 2007 becomes more visible in China and to endorse the quality of Chinese products exhibited at the show. Similarly, the EquipAuto team visited India where they met the Indian automotive sector leaders including trade federations, car manufacturers, automotive component manufacturers and others.

The EquipAuto show includes technological conferences, business meetings between contractors and suppliers and the presentation of its Grand Prix Superior Awards that are given in four categories – OEM and engineering advanced technology products, spare parts and aftermarket products, garage equipment products and services (such as consulting, training, logistics, decision making, management aid, engineering and so on). The awardees are chosen by a group of 80 international journalists from 27 countries who study the dossiers sent in by exhibitors and reward the best in innovation.

Automotive Industries spoke to Armand Batteux, president of EquipAuto and former head of Faurecia.

AI: Why do you think EquipAuto is better positioned to be a global meeting place for all car-related industries compared to other automotive exhibitions?

AB: EQUIP AUTO encompasses the whole value chain of the automotive industry from design to maintenance and recycling of cars. It is also an international exhibition largely opened to mature economies and emerging countries. Not only equipment, products and services for the repair and maintenance market are represented but original equipment is also of major importance at EQUIP AUTO.

Both exhibitors and visitors at EQUIP AUTO Paris will find responses to innovation and competitiveness challenges. The OEM meetings (pre-arranged face-to-face business meetings) will allow highly qualified contacts between suppliers and manufacturers at an international level.

AI: Do you expect the Chinese presence in EquipAuto 2007 to be the most prominent among international participants? If so, why?

AB: Amongst 60 countries present at EQUIP AUTO, China will be the most prominent participation, immediately followed by Italy and Turkey.

The good point concerning EQUIP AUTO is its great diversity of exhibitors according to their country of origin and the balance between emerging countries and mature industrial countries represented.

AI: How strong do you expect the contingent from India to be?

AB: We expect about 50 companies from India. That would be twice as many as in 2005.

AI: Why is EquipAuto a good place for Chinese and Indian companies to show-case their products and services?

AB: China and India have identified EQUIP AUTO as the leading show in the world in odd years for the automotive sector. Both countries have dramatically improved the quality of their products and increased their technology content to match international standards. EQUIP AUTO organization is inflexible to fight against counterfeiters and protect intellectual property. Being present at the show is of great importance for these companies and a reward for their efforts to match the very demanding standards of the automotive industry in mature markets.

AI: Please tell us a little about why the theme this year is innovation.

AB: Innovation, together with a higher competitiveness, is the best response to the challenges the automotive industry is facing. Those challenges are raw materials rising costs, oil shortages concerns, sustainable development and increased global competition, to name a few. In short, innovation is essential to resist new threats identified on the markets and seize growth potentials and development opportunities.

In practice, innovation will irrigate all the different sectors of EQUIP AUTO:

European technology clusters will be present at the show
The International “Grands Prix” for Automotive Innovation will reward innovative companies

A high profile conferences program will highlight the hottest topics in the automotive industry [IT conference, SIA (French society of automotive engineers) conferences].

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