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Autopromotec 2007: Emphasis is on Maintenance

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Over the years, Autopromotec has established itself as one of, if not the, most important international exhibition of products, garage equipment and servicing.

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The 22nd show will be held in the Bologna Trade Fair Centre from 23 – 27 May 2007 and will feature vehicle repairing and maintenance sectors – from garage equipment and products, to testing lines, diagnostic tools, tyres, spare parts, gas station and car wash equipment, tyre retreading and engine reconditioning materials and plants, multi-purpose equipment, car servicing, official and independent service networks.

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Earlier this year, Renzo Servadei, managing director of organisers Promotec S.p.a., held a press briefing in the UK, arranged by the NTDA, to talk about the philosophy behind Autopromotec and how the exhibition has evolved over the years.

The story is one of growth, said Servadei, with the 2005 show having 1,107 exhibitors. Of these, 348 (just over 31 per cent) came from outside Italy; from 43 different countries in total. The international nature of Autopromotec has always been important to the organisers – hence the UK press briefing – and they are concentrating on this for the 2007 show. When it came to visitors in 2005, these totaled 93,084, (11 per cent up on the previous show), of whom 15,569 (almost 17 per cent) came from outside Italy. In 2005, 705 visitors attended from the UK. "We are expecting 1,000 UK visitors for 2007; the UK market is very important for us," revealed Renzo Servadei.

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To attract visitors and exhibitors, Promotec is embarking on a high-profile marketing campaign, including advertising and taking space at exhibitions such as the Automotive Trade Show. The company is also trying to obtain official Trade Fair Certification from the US Department of Commerce. As part of the campaign, the avant-garde, Spanish artist Joaquim Falco, was chosen to design the logo for the 2007 event. His image of a car and a hand wrench emphasises the importance placed on the repairing, servicing and maintenance sectors at the show.

The garage equipment and servicing market is undergoing radical changes, continued Servadei, with increased competition from the Far East especially. Indeed, the entire auto industry is undergoing changes, with an increasing number of vehicles being manufactured in countries such as China.

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Improving vehicle quality means that the intervals between servicing are growing longer, but on the other hand, servicing is becoming more complicated and more technical – the days of the DIY car servicing are numbered – and vehicle maintenance is set to feature strongly in the make-up of exhibitors at Autopromotec, as the organisers believe that this is a sector with great growth potential. "Autopromotec 2007 will be a window on the new world of auto repairing," said Renzo Servadei, adding: "car maintenance can be very profitable." And, this trend looks set to continue; "After all," concluded Servadei, "you can buy a car that has been made in China, but you would not take it back there for servicing or maintenance."

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