Business / Auto China

Auto trade fair growing, despite economic slowdown

By Tang Zhihao ( Updated: 2014-12-11 15:57

Automechanika Shanghai 2014, the largest trade fair in Asia for automotive parts, accessories, equipment and services, is seeing an increasing number of exhibitors despite the slowing economy in China.

The exhibition, held in Shanghai from Dec 9 through Dec 12, welcomed 581 overseas exhibitors and 4,325 domestic exhibitors in 2014, increases of 11 percent and 5 percent year-on-year, according to event organizer Messe Frankfurt. The exhibitors are from 39 countries and regions including the United States, Japan and Germany.

Spanning more than 220,000 square meters in 17 permanent pavilions and 10 temporary pavilions at the Shanghai International Exhibition Center, the 2014 event is the largest in its history in terms of exhibition area, exhibitor numbers, items on display and number of visitors.

The growing Chinese auto market makes exhibitors optimistic about the automotive aftermarket even though China's economic growth is not as high as in previous years.

Figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that manufacturing and sales of vehicles reached 19.27 million units and 18.98 million units in the first 10 months of 2014, with year-on-year growth of 7.93 percent and 6.58 percent. The total profit of the auto industry remained stable between January and October.

"China has a very large car retention and we believe the aftermarket potential is tremendous," said Zhou Lei, general manager of Shenzhen Granitize Vehicle Care Products Co. Granitize is the third-largest US vehicle care brand with more than 70 years development history. It is the first time the company has participated in Automechanika Shanghai.

Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, was quoted as saying China will have 200 million vehicles by 2020.

"Though the changing macroeconomy brought us (automotive-related businesses) pressure, it also boosts our industry," said Zhang Fusheng, chairman of the China National Automotive Industry International Corporation, one of the event organizers.

"The Chinese auto industry is seeking quality improvement, which will push auto parts companies seeking quality improvements."

Zhang said such quality improvement would also be reflected in the exhibition sector.

"Quality growth means organizers will not only pay attention to the number of exhibitors and visitors, but will also try to make participants' satisfied and add value," Zhang said.

As in previous years, Automechanika Shanghai 2014 has three main sectors — accessories, repair and maintenance, and parts and components. Messe Frankfurt said the exhibition scale of the parts increased by 10.4 percent, 7.3 percent and 1.9 percent.

In 2015, Automechanika Shanghai will move to the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center, the world's largest single block building and exhibition complex, so as to accommodate more exhibitors and visitors.

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