Automechanika Shanghai stamps its class

Automechanika Shanghai was organised by Messe Frankfurt in partnership with the China National Automotive Industry International Corporation (CNAICO). Messe Frankfurt holds 12 Automechanika fairs outside Germany annually, all premier fairs within their countries.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 06 Jan 2009 Views icon4284 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Shanghai is no Frankfurt. This fact was amply demonstrated by the lack of confidence on the part of Indian automotive component makers to showcase their products at the Automechanika Shanghai held from December 9 to 12, 2008. Only two Indian companies participated in the exhibition which saw 1,900 exhibitors from 22 countries participate.

The huge participation in the trade fair for automotive parts, equipment and service suppliers clearly implied that the fair is the second biggest Automechanika show after the Frankfurt Automechanika. The Frankfurt event last September saw 4,680 exhibitors from 80 countries and visitors from 16 nations.

Automechanika Shanghai was organised by Messe Frankfurt in partnership with the China National Automotive Industry International Corporation (CNAICO). Messe Frankfurt holds 12 Automechanika fairs outside Germany annually, all premier fairs within their countries.

More Indian visitors than exhibitors

This was an event with a difference, from the India perspective. While exhibitor turnout was poor, Indian visitors made up with a huge presence. KK Sikka, president – international business, Adroit Industries (India) Ltd, part of the Indore-based Signet Group, said: "This is the first time we are participating in Automechanika Shanghai. We are into driveshafts only and our main markets are Europe, US and Canada. We export to around 18 countries and basically cater to the aftermarket. We added a number of dealers during Automechanika Frankfurt. The Indian participation here is very low, probably due to the ongoing recession. As we do not supply to anyone in China, we are looking for business here. But we are not interested in the OE segment at all.”

Sikka admitted that the Chinese automotive parts market represents the largest supplier base and it is virtually impossible to attract business among such a formidable force.

Ferolite Jointings Ltd, which was having its second outing, came to Shanghai with a gameplan. Speaking on the first day of the show, Akshay Sharma, executive director, said: "Depending upon the outcome of the three days of the show, we will decide on future participation in Automechanika Shanghai. We hope to sell our products in China because the type of products we make are not made here, or at least our quality is better. We are in fact already supplying to companies in China.”

The company manufactures gasket sheets and caters mainly to OEMs. In India the company supplies to Honda Siel Cars, Honda Motorcycles and Maruti Suzuki among others. “We are supplying to gasket cutters who in turn are first- line OEMs to these companies,” added Sharma.

Making up for the poor level of participation by Indian companies, Indian businessmen came in droves to interact with Chinese companies. There were over 30,000 trade visitors to the fair, which was spread out in eight halls covering 92,000 square metres of exhibition space, marking an increase of 41,000 square metres over the 2007 event.

In line with the Automechanika global brand format, a complete range of products from low to high-end and basic to hi-tech were displayed in five categories: Parts & Systems, Accessories & Tuning, Repair & Maintenance, IT & Management, and Service Station & Car Wash.

There were many first-time Shanghai visitors like Muthukumar K, managing director of Textek Electroniks Pvt Ltd of Coimbatore. “We make automotive electrical parts like headlamp relays and parking sensors. We cater to OEMs as well as the aftermarket in India. Right now we do not export anything. The basic purpose of visiting Automechanika is to visit some of my suppliers as well as get some technologies from China. Product-wise, I am able to see many products but the presentation is similar to the auto shows in India. Indian participation can never be high here because usually Indians come to meet suppliers in China and not to exhibit their products. Frankfurt is different and there you will find more Indian participation,” he said.

However Sanjay Kumar, group managing director of CbS Technologies, noted that shows like the Automechanika could be beneficial for his company some day. “Someday I shall be participating in this show because a number of people are looking at China as a global supplier. By making your presence felt in China, one may be able to supply to foreign companies, if not to those in China. They may find Indian products, reasonably priced and better in quality. This platform can be a launch pad for Indian component makers,” said Kumar.

Kumar’s company makes a new-generation filter for cars which helps extend the car lube oil change period to 50,000km instead of 10,000km. “And you will also never be changing the paper filter in your car. So it is good for the vehicle, good for the environment and good for the consumer since it saves cost. We are supplying to Indian Railways, the defence, power plants and very soon we shall be supplying to Tata Motors also. We have developed a centrifugal oil cleaner for the Nano. It is a filter which rotates 150 times in one sitting and due to the rotation it cleans the oil. It is a very futuristic product, which at present only three manufacturers worldwide produce. The product is totally indigenous and the technology support has come from IIT Delhi,” said Kumar.

Foreign participation

There were many countries with earmarked pavilions including France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the US. Pascal Galli, project manager of UbiFrance, organiser of the French pavilion, said that the role of China “will be more and more important in the next decade in production and innovation. Our exhibitors are expecting to find distributors or partners for each Chinese market.” Germany made its third appearance at the Automechanika in Shanghai.

There was also participation from key overseas trade associations such as the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the Spanish Automotive Equipment and Components Manufacturers Association and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Big names in the components industry like Bosch and Schaeffler were also present with their full range of aftermarket products. Bosch Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd exhibited its testing equipment in cooperation with Beissbarth and Kingtec. Together Bosch, Beissbarth and Kingtec are providing a wide range of products for the Chinese market. While Kingtec participated with Bosch for the first time, Schaeffler showcased its entire aftermarket product portfolio which included LuK clutch and dual mass flywheel, INA belt drive components and FAG wheel bearing.

China's powerpacked display

Being a home show, Automechanika Shanghai clearly proved to be a very Chinese company-dominated event. A large number of original equipment manufacturers, aftermarket suppliers and dealers took the opportunity to showcase their latest products and services to attract business visitors from overseas. Chinese company Launch Technology showcased its latest X 431 Diagun product which employs Bluetooth wireless technology and is the only dagnostic tool which can work on two vehicles at the same time.

Yingkou Tongguang Automotive Maintenance equipment Co had on display a truck tyre changer. The company is a high-tech enterprise which specialises in developing and producing automotive maintenance and diagnostic equipment. The truck tyre changer allows one to mount and demount trucks and buses and the large wheel balancer allows to balance the trucks, buses and cars. The TY008 product on display was an electro-hydraulic tyre changer for trucks, bus and tractors. It was equipped with a soundproof power generator. The product can be run in workshops and also suitable for mobile service. Like in India, the garage equipment sector is booming and had a massive display at the Automechanika.

G&P International Machinery, which operates from the Guangdong province and the pioneer in automotive maintenance industry in China, told Autocar Professional that it is keen to tap more distributors for its operations in India. The company showcased a varied range of equipment including cover wheel aligners, test lines, spray and welding equipment.

In the final analysis, as expected, Automechanika Shanghai stamped its class as China's leading auto trade show.
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