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Growth of automotive show reflects evolution of motor industry

Far-reaching changes in automotive manufacturing are re­flected in the growth and expansion of AUTOMOTIVE WORLD.

Hosted from January 14-16, 2015 at the Tokyo Big Sight in Japan, the exhibition will consist of five shows – CAR-ELE Japan, EV Japan, Automotive Weight Reduction Expo, Connected Car Japan and Automotive Components Processing Technology Expo. The AUTOMOTIVE WORLD Technical Conference will also be held as part of the event.

AUTOMOTIVE WORLD started as CAR-ELE Japan – the International Automotive Electronics Expo in 2009. It was spun off out of Asia’s largest exhibition for electronics R&D and manufacturing, NEPCON Japan. AUTOMOTIVE WORLD added EV Japan – EV & HEV Drive System Technology Expo the following year. With the industry focusing on the critical challenge of weight reduction, the Automotive Weight Reduction Technology Expo was launched in 2011. 

In 2013 AUTOMOTIVE WORLD added the Connected Car Japan event. In 2015 another new show, the Automotive Components Processing Technology Expo, will be launched. This show is aimed at meeting the growing demand for automotive components which is affected by increasing quality standards, cost reduction and weight reduction.

AUTOMOTIVE WORLD 2015 plans to attract medium and small sized companies with cutting-edge processing technologies from around the world. “One of the greatest strengths of AUTOMOTIVE WORLD is that it gathers an unrivalled number of engineers and decision makers from Japanese/Asian OEM and Tier I companies, gaining huge support from their top management. You can see 

that in the members of the Advisory Committee consisting of executives from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, GM Japan, Keihin, DENSO, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Continental, Bosch, Magna and so on,” said the organizer in a media statement.

AUTOMOTIVE WORLD 2014 attracted many key people from leading companies in other Asian countries such as Hyundai Motor, GM Korea, LG Electronics, Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group and others.

Organized by Reed Exhibitions Japan and supported by industry body SAE International, 2014 AUTOMOTIVE WORLD reported 20% growth over the previous years, with the number of exhibitors up by 19% to 432. The 2014 year’s event had nearly 18,500 visitors, with 4,284 delegates attending 52 seminars.

Some of the main topics at the 2014 AUTOMOTIVE WORLD included technologies behind driverless cars. A highlight was the Autonomous Vehicle Exhibit Corner where vehicles equipped with the latest autonomous driving technologies were exhibited. Another major issue was weight reduction, which grew by 35% from the previous show. Concept cars constructed from advanced weight-saving materials attracted special attention. Taking advantage of their strength in highly-functional materials, leading companies such as Toray, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, UBE Industries, Toyobo, Victrex, and Super Resin, introduced advanced materials for automotive use.

With practical use of fuel cell vehicles on the horizon and automobile manufacturers working hard towards it, technologies for eco-friendly vehicles are back in the spotlight. Inside EV JAPAN, a large number of exhibitors presented the latest technologies for EV, HEV and FCV. They included the likes of Meidensha, NIDEC and Yasukawa Electric.

Automotive Industries asked Masaki Soda, Show Director of AUTOMOTIVE WORLD, what will be some of the highlights of the 2015 event.

Soda: First of all, the exhibition expands by 60% in size over the previous show. A record 690 exhibitors will display their  latest products in the coming AUTOMOTIVE WORLD and will offer solutions for five important topics automotive electronics, EV/HEV drive systems, weight reduction, connected car and processing technology.

Also, we will increase the number of sessions at the technical conference considerably. Sessions for young automotive engineers are a new addition. A highlight will be the sharing of the story behind the development of a great car by its chief engineers. Other new sessions are the Motor Development Symposium, FCV Development Symposium and Weight Reduction Symposium. These issues have been addressed by industry leaders and will be covered in the normal Conference in 2015. In the symposiums universities and research institute who did not have the opportunity to interact with automotive industry will introduce their related study findings to automotive engineers.

AI: What are some of the issues that will be brought up at the Technical Conference?

Soda: The Technical Conference is organized with the support of Advisory Committee, which consists of board members of leading OEMs and Tier 1s. The next Technical Conference will cover important issues such as ADAS, autonomous driving, FCV, high-efficient engines, IT securities for connected cars, etc.

AI: Who are some of the keynote speakers in 2015?

Soda: Mr. Jiro Yamaguchi (Senior Managing Officer and Director, COO of Honda R&D) and Mr. Volkmar Tanneberger (Senior Vice President of Volkswagen) have confirmed their attendance as keynote speakers. A top executive from an US automaker is expected to join them.

AI: Why was it important create a new event – the Automotive Components Processing Technology Expo to the AUTOMOTIVE WORLD show?

Soda: Visitors to the past shows have told us that they would like to meet companies which have not only electronics and weight reduction technologies, but also processing technologies. Therefore, we have decided to launch the new show for 2015 edition. With the Processing Technology Expo, AUTOMOTIVE WORLD can offer visitors more comprehensive platform to find solutions for automotive engineering. AI: What will be some of the important technologies showcased at the 2015 AUTOMOTIVE WORLD?

Soda: ADAS and autonomous driving system technologies, connected car and FCV technologies will be of great interest to visitors. Also, most leading companies which deal with in-vehicle semiconductors gather at the annual event.

AI: How many exhibitors and visitors do you hope to attract at the 2015 event and how much bigger will it be compared to earlier events?

Soda: 690 exhibitors will participate in AUTOMOTIVE WORLD 2015. The previous show attracted 432 exhibitors. We hope to attract 21,000 automotive engineers. The public is not allowed into the show, which means that most of the delegates are automotive engineers from OEMs, Tier 1s and Tier 2s.

AI: Why is AUTOMOTIVE WORLD a must-attend for OEMs and Tier I companies in Asia?

Soda: Because the 690 companies exhibiting will offer solutions for the five hot issues for automotive engineering – automotive electronics, EV/HEV technologies, weight reduction technologies, connected car technologies and processing technologies. There is no other place where such a large number of suppliers in these fields gather. Hundreds of engineers came to the show from companies such as TOYOTA, DENSO and NISSAN last year. We believe that more engineers will visit the show in 2015.

AI: How much more international will next year’s event be compared to earlier AUTOMOTIVE WORLD shows?

Soda: In terms of international exhibitors, several associations from Korea, Taiwan and India plan to establish their national/regional pavilions for the first time. Some 30-40% of exhibitors have their HQs overseas. So, the show is quite international. Visitors come from all over the world. Top executives from neighboring countries such as Hyundai and Great Wall Motors visit the show and we have received many visiting inquiries from OEMs in Europe and US.

AI: Give us an idea of what some of the key issues that will be highlighted at the five shows that are part of the AUTOMOTIVE WORLD 2015.

Soda: All five of the shows are very powerful and have become larger every year. Between them, we have received far more inquiries for automotive electronics-related fields such as ADAS and autonomous driving technologies

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