Impressive Debut Set Stage for an Even Bigger Tyrexpo Africa - Tire Review Magazine

Impressive Debut Set Stage for an Even Bigger Tyrexpo Africa

When Tyrexpo Africa 2006 got underway in September of that year, there was very little to compare the exhibition with – no tyre show had taken place in South Africa for more than a quarter of a century before ECI International took the decision to hold the inaugural event in Johannesburg.

Therefore success was by no means assured; but pitted against this uncertainty was the fact that in Africa, and South Africa in particular, times were changing. By 2006 all of the major global OEMs were represented in South Africa, supplying the country’s growing automotive industry. Added to these tyre majors were some 450 tyre dealers and retreaders plus more than 20,000 businesses supplying South Africa’s motor vehicle aftermarket. After such a long absence from the international tyre exhibition scene, perhaps the time was right for South Africa to make a comeback.

As it turned out, ECI International’s confidence in a show held on the African continent was fully justified. “In 2006, the first year of Tyrexpo Africa, we were going into unknown territory, but the response, support and enthusiasm we received convinced us that there is a real desire for a hard-working show aimed at bringing tyre people together,” explained ECI sales director Rowena Suthers.

During the three day event a total of 2,738 trade professionals  (the exhibition is strictly trade only) from 44 countries attended the show, and more than 110 companies exhibited their products. Feedback from exhibitors was highly positive, as comments from Bandag SA marketing director Laurent Colrat indicate: “Bandag SA committed to Tyrexpo Africa 2006 as early as October 2005 and it proved to be not only a good marketing decision but also a significant strategic move,” said Colrat. “The experience of the organisers was evident and Bandag SA will definitively be back for Tyrexpo Africa 2008.” True to Colrat’s word, Bandag SA is listed amongst the hundred plus exhibitors that by November 2007 had already committed to the upcoming show. The retreader celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in December 2007, and the company plans to mark this milestone at Tyrexpo Africa.  

The Sandton Exhibition Centre is once again the venue for Tyrexpo Africa, and due to exhibitor space being fully booked during 2006 two halls have been set aside for the 2008 show. The success of the previous Tyrexpo Africa has done much to establish industry support for the exhibition within the region, and ECI are confident that the final run-up to the show will see even more companies come on board as exhibitors. Tyrexpo Africa 2008, in the words of Ms. Suthers, “will have many more exhibitors and visitors, offering a wider range of products and services and more opportunities to do business.”

Counted amongst those already signed up at the start of November 2007 were numerous familiar names. India is well represented at the exhibition, with Apollo Tyres, Balkrishna Tyres, JK and retreader Elgitread all confirmed to attend. And an interesting phenomenon noted by ECI is a marked increase in the number of Chinese companies exhibiting. Already the number of Chinese manufacturers and distributors registered for this year’s show is up 20% on 2006.

More than 30 Chinese companies will be at Tyrexpo Africa, including Techking Tires, Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber and Qingdao Qizhou Rubber; this third company is currently developing a 59/90R63 OTR tyre, said to be the world’s largest. Whether or not this giant tyre will be present at Tyrexpo Africa is not known, but should it make its way to the Sandton Exhibition Centre it will be in good company – ECI reports that a number of Chinese companies exhibiting will be targeting the mining, quarrying and construction markets with their OTR and earthmover products.

It is no surprise that manufacturers and distributors will be promoting OTR products at a South Africa based show – after all, the country possesses the world’s largest reserves of chrome, gold, vanadium, manganese and platinum group metals, and mining accounts for 6.5% of South Africa’s gross domestic produce. But it is not just the mining sector that is strong here.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA reports that sales of heavy trucks between January and October 2007 increased 21% over the previous year, and medium trucks by 13.4%. And while sales results for new passenger cars have varied in the last few years, oscillating between record figures in 2004 and 2005 and the current decline, vehicle production is now South Africa’s second largest manufacturing sector industry. Vehicle exports have increased nine-fold since 2004, now accounting for almost 7% of national exports. Naturally, the demand for tyres and related automotive products is experiencing a growth in-line with that of vehicles in these key sectors, and where there is growth, new opportunities also exist – opportunities that can be acted upon at a show such as Tyrexpo Africa.   

For those wishing to develop business relationships with tyre manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors operating in Africa, the exhibition in Johannesburg provides something that cannot be found anywhere else throughout the continent – a venue in which one can compare what’s on offer side by side and make an informed business decision. “That’s what Tyrexpo Africa is all about – making contacts and developing new business opportunities,” explained Rowena Suthers. The 2008 show will get underway on March 4, and those wishing to attend can obtain more detailed information from our exhibitions page at tyrepress.com; the link to this page can be found under the infopool/events heading. (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)

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