Equip Auto thinks electric
The French automotive aftermarket and accessories exhibition Equip Auto, received a strong response from the European automotive sector.
The majority of the 1,600 exhibitors, 80 percent of them from outside France, said that they received an increased number of visitors and signed more key contacts at this year’s show. Equip Auto has positioned itself as a platform for innovation and is now one of the key B2B events on the European automotive calendar. It brought together companies, distributors and vehicle repairers who were seeking new products, services and partners. The show was organised by Comexposium and its shareholder partners, the Fédération des Industries des Equipements pour Véhicules (FIEV - French vehicle equipment manufacturers association) and the Fédération Française de la Carrosserie (FFC - French bodywork association). The show was inaugurated by Christian Estrosi, French Minister for Industry (representing the Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment) and the focus this time was on increased productivity and efficiency against a backdrop of economic crisis.
Although more than 1,600 exhibitors had planned to attend Equip Auto, there was some trepidation about the turnout before the show started. However once the show opened, those fears quickly dissipated when the participants realised the quality of potential business contacts and commercial relationships. Equip Auto also aimed to become a global technological innovation showcase for the entire automotive industry “from design through to maintenance”, by turning the spotlight on the dynamism of its exhibitors. It awarded the International Grand Prix for Automobile Innovation – given by a panel of 87 journalists from 26 countries and was officially closed by Louis Negre, member of the French Senate.
According to Thierry Leblanc, Spare Parts Division Manager, France and Benelux, Bosch, “Taking into account the general situation, we were expecting a drop in the number of visitors, but what actually happened was that all our customers and distributors as well as the big players in the French and Benelux markets were there. Equip Auto gave us the opportunity to show off all of our new innovations — it was a real showcase for us. All in all, we’ve seen a significant increase in our turnover in comparison with 2007. As far as the Bosch Group as a whole is concerned, there is a real need for this show.”
Backing up these views was Almudena Benedito, Marketing and Communications Manager, Europe, Delphi who said, “All of our France-based customers came, as did many of our international customers, especially those in Europe and North Africa. We were able to generate as many orders as we did last time around and to obtain some good leads. We also had very good feedback from our sales teams, especially with regard to the organisers, who helped us throughout the run-up to the exhibition.” French component major Valeo also had a major presence at the show. According to Jean-Claude Roques, general manager, France Division of Valeo, “Overall we saw good visitor numbers in distribution, for France as well as for export. Equip Auto is a solid business platform we got a good return from it and some very good leads. In our opinion, it was a success.”
With all the large automotive markets entering into a period of major technological transition in order to meet environmental demands and comply with energy-saving restrictions, Equip Auto made electro-mobility the subject of its 10th forum, with various company executives and experts giving their views on the subject. As a result, the organisers say that the show has firmly established itself as a strategic and forward-looking platform for the industry, from design through to maintenance.
The Indian presence
Nine Indian companies also exhibited at the show, including, Hindustan Expo, Turbo Bearings, Lamina International, Garima Global, Mansons International, Bengal Industries, Stork Rubber Products, Stumpp Schuele & Somappa and Shradha Exports. Most of them received some enquiries from business visitors but were disappointed that they did not get major orders.
The organisers also held an 'India Day' on October 16, the highlight being the presentation by chief guest R Srivatchan, president - CCB, TVS. He spoke about the Indian automotive market, giving facts and figures to contrast it with the French market. Srivatchan also highlighted areas of opportunity in the Indian auto market for French companies. However, he acknowledged the many challenges that foreign companies face while they attempt to establish their business in India. The next Equip Auto will be held in October 2011
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