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Automotive Industries spoke to Jason Cao, general manager of Messe Frankfurt Shanghai

The 2008 Automechanika Shanghai at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre will showcase a complete range of products for automotive original and aftermarket equipment, from low to high-end, from basic to hi-tech.

Automechanika Shanghai, will be held between the 10th and 12th of December, this year. According to the show organizers, this year’s event will be much bigger, with the exhibition floor space expanding from last year’s 51,000 sqm to 92,000 sqm.

The 2008 Automechanika Shanghai at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre will showcase a complete range of products for automotive original and aftermarket equipment, from low to high-end, from basic to hi-tech. In line with the profile of the global Automechanika brand, products to be displayed will be Parts & Systems, Accessories & Tuning, Repair & Maintenance, IT & Management, and Service Station & Car Wash.

Automechanika Shanghai has been positioned as China’s leading professional forums for automotive parts, components and aftermarket industry. It is the world’s second largest Automechanika show, after Automechanika in Frankfurt, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary 16 – 21 September 2008.

This is because China’s position in the global auto industry is becoming increasingly important. According to official figures from China, the country’s auto imports and exports for 2007 stood at USD 70 billion with exports accounting for over 45 per cent of this amount. In addition, figures from the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, reveals that Chinese automakers rolled out 9.04 million vehicles in 2007, up 22.9 per cent from the previous year. In 2008, China’s output is expected to exceed 10 million units. Of these, five million will be passenger cars.

Domestically, registrations of luxury vehicles hit an all time high in January this year, reaching 782,700, a year-on-year increase of 27.6 per cent. The most popular vehicles are SUVs, followed by sedans and MPV models, hatchbacks and sports cars. Similarly, China’s export of auto parts has increased more than six-fold, making it one of the country’s fastest-growing categories of exported industrialized parts.

Up until a few years ago large-scale auto parts production was only possible in North America, Europe and Japan. Now more than half of China’s auto parts are exported to the United States and the remainder to Europe and Japan. The strength of China’s auto parts sector lies in its electrical and electronic components and in cast-metal parts that require hazardous casting and manual labor for machining.

In terms of imports, an expanding market has stimulated the need for more imported parts. According to statistics from China Customs, in the first half of 2007 China imported USD 7.2 billion in auto parts. The import value of engines rose 16.43 per cent to USD 697 million and imported transmissions soared 66 per cent to USD 1.4 billion. 

In 2007, the third Automechanika Shanghai saw 22,000 visitors from over 103 countries and regions. According to the show organizers, Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co. Ltd which co-organizes the fair with the China National Automotive Industry International Corporation (CNAICO), the third edition was the largest to be held outside Germany. The fair, which focused on parts, products & equipment for the automotive OE and aftermarket, housed 1,250 exhibitors in six halls, creating a huge product showcase and pivotal meeting point for industry professionals.
The top ten visiting countries (in order, greatest first) were Korea, Taiwan, Iran, Russia, India, Japan, Turkey, USA, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates.

In terms of exhibitors, 1,250 companies from 23 countries participated in the show. “For us, Automechanika Shanghai is a must-attend show. We have exhibited at this fair every year, and have witnessed its rapid growth. To be honest, we are not surprised by its expanding speed considering how fast-growing the industry is and how influential the Automechanika brand is. Competition is fierce in the Chinese domestic aftermarket industry, and the urge to grow our international business is another driver for us to attend Automechanika Shanghai. In my opinion, this fair has the highest international status among all the Chinese trade fairs for automotive and aftermarket,” said Wang Xi Lin of Launch Tech, a Chinese company providing a full range of equipment and service solutions for workshops.

Automotive Industries spoke to Jason Cao, general manager of Messe Frankfurt Shanghai. 

AI: What will be new in the fourth edition of Automechanika Shanghai?

Jason Cao: New international pavilions – it is the first time that theMalaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council is organizing an exhibitor group to showcase rubber parts products at the show. It is also the first time for the show is to be certified by US Department of Commerce and officially supported by MEMA – Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, for the US pavilion.

We also have new participation from overseas associations to bring companies from their countries to AMS. These associations include SERNAUTO – the Spanish Automotive Equipment and Components Manufacturers Association and Probrixia – the Chamber of Commerce of Brescia, Italy. Also UBI France is organizing a delegation to open up the automotive market to French companies. They are also considering the possibility of exhibiting with a French pavilion.

In addition, we are collaborating with industry associations to organize seminars which will enhance our show activities. For example we are joining with the Outsourcing Association of Shanghai Management Science Society and the School of Economics and Management of Tongji University to organize The 4th International Forum on Service Outsourcing in the Manufacturing Industry for professionals in the automotive industry.

There will also be seminars about car engine technology and design, vehicle use of electrical appliances; as well as meetings for regional dealers and distributors of maintenance equipment.

AI: Please tell us which categories (parts and systems, accessories and tuning, repair and maintenance, IT and management or service station and car wash) are the most popular and why?

Jason Cao: In terms of participation from the exhibitor side, parts and systems is the most popular sector as there are a large number of companies in this sector. However, with the China auto market getting more mature and more cars on the road, car owners are placing a lot of attention to after sales service and maintenance. Thus, the repair and maintenance sector in the show is getting a lot of attention this year. We have two halls dedicated to repair and maintenance equipment; double the size of last year.

AI: What kind of growth is the Chinese automotive market going through and has this been affected by the recent global economic slowdown?

Jason Cao: China’s auto sales are still growing fast, though the growth rate slowed down in the first half of 2008, partly due to the high fuel price and global economic slowdown. The country sold 3.61 million passenger cars between January and June, up 17.07 % from the same period last year. The growth rate went down by 5.19 % from the level recorded in the first half of 2007. Still this growth rate far exceeds the world average. FAW Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen were the two top sellers in the first six months of 2008, followed by Shanghai GM. These brands are now looking at China as a more important market. For example, GM’s top selling market for Buick is China, not the USA and VW sells more cars in China than Germany.

AI: Will this affect Automechanika Shanghai 2008?

Jason Cao: The growing China market stimulates the growth of the auto manufacturers and their active promotion in turn leads to the 80% growth of the fair this year. Though the global economic slow down on one hand affects the budget of some global giants in their promotional activities; on the other hand, this has pushed more companies to look into finding markets with steady growth and China provides the best opportunity.

AI: What kind of participation are you anticipating for this year’s show?

Jason Cao: At the end of July we have confirmed exhibitors from more than 1,600 companies, which already surpasses the total number of exhibitors of 2007 (1,250 companies). We are also getting more participation from overseas such as international pavilions from Germany, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the USA. We expect over 1,800 exhibitors and more than 30,000 visitors turn up for the show this year.

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