A slow start for a tyre sector at Automechanika Frankfurt 2018


Tyre shows in Europe are a highly competitive business and this year has seen two major exhibitions both being staged in Germany within the space of just four months. Political and business strategies have led to a ‘showdown’ between Reifen Essen and The Tire Cologne.

The Tire Cologne event took place in Essen in May and was highly successful and now the spotlight was turned on Reifen Essen who for the first time had switched their event to Frankfurt in September and become part of Automechanika Frankfurt 2018, one of the world’s leading automotive market events offering an international meeting place that brings industry, retail and workshops together under one massive roof.

It was generally considered in the European market that the switch from Essen to Frankfurt was a very bold one…and possibly a gamble, so would it be successful? SA Treads European correspondent recently attended the show in September to discover if combining with the Automechanika shows had been a masterstroke..or a failure?.

The Automechanika Frankfurt 2018 show was a resounding success as it broke a number of significant records for the exhibition which was celebrating its 25th Anniversary as a Biennial international trade fair including the highest ever number of visitors along with more exhibition space than ever before.

Over the five day show there were 136,000 visitors from 181 countries (which was another new record) who were able to inspect an extensive variety of stands covering every sector of the automotive industry as well as an impressive number of tyre related products and services.

So was the all-new Reifen Trade Fair a refreshing addition to the Automechanika show and a perfect fit between the automotive and tyre market sectors.? Well, surprisingly just one hall (12A) was designated solely for tyres at this huge show spanning 23 exhibition halls and was even placed on the upper level of that hall.

SA Treads spoke with a selection of relevant exhibitors including Continental Reifen, Al Dobowi Group, Balkrishna Industries, Jantsa Wheel Industry, Linglong Tire, Maxion Wheels, NDI Group, Giti Tire and Pirelli who all expressed they were rather disappointed with only being represented and promoted in just a single hall. On a more positive note, overall daily visitor numbers to the Reifen hall maintained a steady flow and at times was busy and buzzing like the old days in Essen – but on a much smaller scale.

There was also a strong presence of companies promoting the retreading and recycling sector including Matteuzzi, Cima Impianti, Elgi Rubber, Reinheimer, Sun Rubber, Italmatic and Salvadori.

The hall was attractively designed and collectively the stands covered an extensive range of products and services including tyres for all sectors, tyre casings, tubes and other new tyre innovations, wheels and rims, tyre repair, tyre management systems and storage equipment.

SA Treads came away from the show with the general impression that the gamble had not paid off with exhibitors in the Reifen hall admitting to using the show to judge whether being part of one of the largest and most successful automotive trade show series in the world was the sort of platform they can use in the future to promote their business profile. So it will be interesting to see if Reifen Essen will continue their partnership with Automechanika but initially the prognosis is certainly not positive for a repeat performance in two years time. 


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