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Growing Eurasian auto market attracts major trade fair

Europe’s biggest specialist coatings fair, PaintExpo, will be staged in Eurasia for the first time. Planned to be held every two years in Turkey, PaintExpo Eurasia will be held from October 6 to October 8 2011 at the Istanbul Expo Center.

It is being organized by FairFair in collaboration with Turkish technical trade fair specialist company Artkim Fuarcılık. According to the organizers, Turkey, as well as many other countries on the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea, are having to upgrade their technology. “This applies in particular to the field of industrial coating. In order to secure a competitive edge, companies in the region with in-house painting operations, and job-shop painters, need to apply coatings in higher quality, in a more ecologically friendly manner, faster and more cost-effectively. These results in strong demand for top quality technology,” says Jürgen Haussmann, managing director of FairFair. 

PaintExpo Eurasia will cover all aspects of the coating process. Istanbul, located where Europe and Asia meet, is considered the most important trade fair location by visitors from Turkey and its neighboring countries, he says. The fair will cater for the automotive industry and its suppliers, coating job-shops, commercial vehicles industry, the aviation and aerospace industry among many other sectors. Visitors will find out how to cut material costs by reducing paint consumption, increase product quality and process flexibility, optimize coating processes while cutting energy usage and to prepare to meet upcoming governmental volatile organic compound (VOC) regulations.
PaintExpo’s organizer, FairFair, was founded by Haussmann in 2006. PaintExpo is organized in partnership with JOT (German trade journal for surface finishing). It is a biennial event – the fourth PaintExpo will be held in Karlsruhe, Germany between April 17 and April 20, 2012. According to FairFair, over 230 companies from 17 countries have already signed on as exhibitors. Haussmann attributes the high levels of international interest in participation to the extensive investment requirements for companies with in-house painting facilities, and job-shop coaters. 

“This is being triggered by ever stricter requirements regarding efficiency, quality, flexibility and environmental protection, as well as by new materials and material combinations. PaintExpo is the number one information and procurement platform for users, due to the fact that it presents the world’s most comprehensive offerings ranging from pre-treatment right on up to final inspection,” says Haussmann.

The third PaintExpo held in April 2010 in Karlsruhe, saw exhibitor numbers grow by 14% compared to 2008, and visitors were up by 8% to a total of 6,397, despite the economic downturn. “PaintExpo is very well accepted by our customers and other interested parties because it offers an extremely clear-cut picture of the entire coatings industry. All of the relevant companies from all fields of industrial coating technology are represented here. We’re very satisfied with the quantity and the quality of the visitors again this year,” said Martin Weidisch of J. Wagner, which has participated in all three events. 

“Visitors who attend PaintExpo are a dream-come-true for anyone who’s involved with customer consultation. All of them are engineers, technicians or process engineering experts – exactly the kind of people we want to hook up with. We’re able to discuss things with them at a highly technical level,” said Achim Trefz, assistant sales manager from SATA & Co. KG. 

Haussmann says the event functions as a link between manufacturers for whom they promote sales, and users to whom it provides information and procurement sources, creating added value for both groups of customers.  

Automotive Industries (AI) asked Haussmann what made the company decide to take PaintExpo to Turkey.

Haussmann: PaintExpo in Germany attracts both a large number of trade visitors from German-speaking countries, and more and more international painting specialists. Nevertheless, the economic growth of Turkey and neighboring countries in the Middle East is faster than we can bring all those potential visitors to Germany. Taking the main idea of PaintExpo, and slightly adjusting it to this economic region was the solution welcomed by our existing customers, and many manufacturers from Turkey.

AI: Will PaintExpo Eurasia continue as a biennial event in Turkey or do you plan to host the event in other countries in the region?

Haussmann: Istanbul is a hub for domestic and international flights. The fairground Istanbul Fuar Merkezi, also known as CNR Expo, is easy to access from the airport. Business people from our target region are used to travelling to Istanbul for trade fairs. Several exhibitors and many users of industrial coating technologies are located in and close to Istanbul, so our decision for Istanbul was well thought out. We do not expect any change of the location in the near future.

AI: What will be some of the differences in terms of products/issues/technologies in PaintExpo Eurasia as compared to the fair in Germany?

Haussmann: There are some smaller differences related to the local economy. The automotive sector is growing because many global car and commercial vehicle manufacturers are building new plants or increasing their production capacity in Turkey. The reasons for this include rising domestic demand, and the strategic location of Turkey for exports into neighboring countries. This has another positive effect for PaintExpo Eurasia, because many automotive suppliers establish themselves around the car manufacturers. Other examples are the current construction boom, which results in a rising demand for coated metal and glass parts for facades of skyscrapers, as well as for internal products like boilers, radiators and so on. The demand for white goods is also growing. The exhibition program will reflect on these special requirements.

AI: What do you attribute the growing interest in PaintExpo 2012 to?

Haussmann: The basics are the good concept – the clear focus on coating technologies, and catering for all steps in the process chain: Industrial wet painting, powder coating and coil coating are presented from pre-treatment up to final inspection. Practically, all relevant market and technology leaders are on site. Decision-makers from companies with in-house coating facilities and job-shop coaters are able to collect relevant information for process and cost optimization in one trade fair visit. Due to this, PaintExpo is becoming increasingly popular with every edition and attracts more and more international exhibitors and visitors.

AI: What are some of the latest paint technologies that will be showcased at the PaintExpo 2012 in Germany?

Haussmann: We know that several new products are currently under development. They are concerned with energy and material savings, and higher process flexibility. In the pipeline are also technologies to reduce the necessary process steps by combined methods. Many of them will help users comply with even more restricted VOC-regulations, which are expected in future.

AI: What numbers do you hope to reach in 2012 with exhibitors as well as visitors?

Haussmann: Since the beginning of PaintExpo we have focused on quality more than on quantity. Though an increase of about 10% or even 15% may be expected, which means roughly 370 exhibitors and more than 7,000 expert visitors.

AI: Any other international editions of PaintExpo planned in the future?

Haussmann: We are fair organizers, and of course, we are thinking about launching new trade fairs. But, right now, it’s much too early to talk about it. And PaintExpo Eurasia has started so well that the development of this fair is currently our focus of attention. It is also our company guideline not to start too many new projects, and perhaps fail with all of them. Sustainable development of one new project brings more satisfied customers and pays off in the long term. But be sure, as soon as we are going to launch a new trade fair, AI will receive this information first.

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