The largest ever Automechanika Argentina ended with a record number of both visitors and exhibitors. An exhibition that showed a powerful industry which, still under the impact of the world crisis, does not give up and offers quality products, know-how and services.The exhibition used all the pavilions of La Rural Trade Center.
Also, a modular structure brought all the way from Belgium was erected to offer more room to exhibitors. Visitors were quite happy, as they managed to see new products and services, get trained at the Automechanika Academy and engage in international business.
The organizers were quite happy at this Automechanika Argentina, even when they could not fail to bring up the world crisis felt throughout the whole industry. The VP of Messe Frankfurt GmbH and responsible officer for the Automechanika brand for the world, Mr. Stephan Kurzawski, commented, at the opening ceremony: “We are here to speak again of our industry, and would like to start by saying that the word “crisis”, in Chinese, has two signs together, one of which means “danger” and the other one “opportunity”.
Automechanika Argentina is a good example of the fact that a crisis entails an opportunity, because the fair has always defied economic crises in the past. Both Automechanika Argentina 2000 and Automechanika Argentina 2002 were successes despite the economic crisis the country was going through.
In year 2000, Indexport Messe Frankfurt organized the exhibition and had to face extremely difficult economic conditions, but 240 exhibitors and 17,000 visitors came from all over South America. In 2002 the scenario did not look much better. However, 280 exhibitors and 21,600 visitors came along. That is why Automechanika Argentina is an example of industry sectors that manage to be more or less independent from others, or, in other words, of the expansion of the market, which operates even better despite negative signs. When we consider the history of global financial crises, the Automechanika story is even more special. It brings us the hope that good concepts and a good network of joint effort in this industry have more weight than external circumstances, and that the future lies in the good concepts. This year Automechanika Argentina continues with its success story as one of the leading exhibitions in South America with regard to spare parts, original parts, accessories and shop work.”
In his role as President of Asociación de Fábricas Argentinas de Componentes (AFAC, i.e.: the Argentinean Association of Automotive Parts’ Manufacturers), Rodolfo Achille, made reference to the world crisis and how this industry is facing it: “Already at the end of 2008, a global crisis without nearby precedents has arisen. The car industry will obviously not be alien to it. The manner in which we use our capabilities to ameliorate it or worsen it will depend exclusively on us. This is a challenge that we will need to overcome in a very short time. I would like to highlight, despite the current scenario, that car-part exports will exceed US$2.3 billion, an amount equal to the exports of meat and wine together. This is possible thanks to the efforts of more than 300 car-part exporting companies, mostly SMEs. (…) When we talk about the concept of local integration, we do not only mean to manufacture parts and components in our country, but to carry out terminal operations in our country to the extent possible as well”.
The Secretary of Industry of Argentina, Mr. Fernando Fraguío, attended in representation of the national government. He spelled out the government plans as regards the car-part industry: “The national government has consistently supported the growth of this sector with active and proactive measures. Those included, this year, the car and motorcycle part act, apart from the recent signature by the President of the motorcycle law, which will be a strong incentive for the members of this powerful sector. When it would seem that countries are closed behind their borders and possibilities get scarcer, when an industry like this one sees the whole world falling apart, both in developed and developing countries, Argentina shows a powerful industry, with a market that will reach 600 units in production. This sector, full of praise and blessings, has an outstanding debt; i.e.: the integration of Argentinean car parts, both in the local market and in other vehicles built, for instance, in Brazil, which could come back home with more Argentinean parts. That is why at this opening ceremony I want to leave you with the message, which will also be mirrored at the car-part regulation arena, of a growing local car and motorcycle part industry, and of a growing local motorcycle industry. What will set us apart from the rest of the players at the time of the crisis is our capacity to offer quality jobs, to add design, quality, and open up to the world.”
A major highlight in the fair was the “2nd. International Round of Car-Part Buyers”, organized together with Fundación Export.Ar. 66 local companies from this industry came on board, and held 280 meetings with companies from: Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Marcelo Elizondo, the CEO of Fundación Export.Ar spoke as follows: “… these are not easy times, but Argentina has a permanent commitment to international trade, which has lately witnessed the growth of the whole of the car and part industry. This industry has not only grown because it managed to get better international prices but also because it has exported more, with an increase in volume of approximately 150% in five years.”On the other hand, one of the major appeals of the fair was the Tuner Challenge.
For the first time a Tuner Challenge was part of Automechanika Argentina. Throughout the four days of the fair, 100 people, inclusive of painters, mechanics, upholsterers, electricians and others worked in a Honda Prelude 1992 and a Jeep Grand Cherokee 2006. The whole car was transformed step by step, the body, engine, interior and paint of the two vehicles, and more than AR$300,000 were invested in the process.
Another event during the fair was the Final Round of the “Award to the Best Painter” Contest, organized by Glasurit. The final round was held live at a booth specially designed to that end. Finalists worked under the attentive eyes of the public, and a winner was selected. Visitors could also get training at the Automechanika Academy.
Participant companies gave presentations and conferences. New products were introduced there and discussions focused on issues from the industry and the international scenario. They were given by prestigious players from this industry. Automechanika Argentina was the largest exhibition in the country, with 576 exhibitors, 165 of which were international companies. These figures largely exceeded the usual numbers for this type of event.
International companies came from Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.It was a very dynamic fair for the amount of public and the number and palette of activities that took place. Both visitors and exhibitors were quite happy with the fair.
Some comments from exhibitors:
Marketing and Product Manager, Jorge A. Slavkin
“As every time we come, we are quite happy seeing our customers and entertaining them. This is becoming an unusual event for the Argentinean market and we are quite happy with our participation and the success of the fair.”
CONTROL VEHICULAR ARGENTINO
President, Constantino Abella
“This is our fourth year around. Every time we come we reach objectives such as selling to countries such as Germany, improving customer relationships and getting closer to the customer. It is a meeting point where customers tell us how they did with the machines. We can see that people are very happy. We have been growing year after year, and doubled the footage taken. (...) We are quite happy with this undertaking and (...) we intend to repeat it. We are also quite thankful to the people of Messe Frankfurt in Argentina, for their support and affection. We have always got their support for all this to happen.”
Foreign Trade Manager, José Luis Cucchietti
“The balance has been positive, despite prior negative expectations given the world scenario. The number of visitors received was really interesting, people coming from all over South America. I have seen that, in relation to other exhibitions where we have participated before (in the US or in Automechanika Frankfurt), in Argentina and even within the context of the crisis and acknowledging its existence, there is hope and positive expectations toward the future. Let’s expect that that reality comes true and that the pessimism found in other places, which did not replicate here, actually helps us think of a better future.”
Marketing, Pablo E. Cavallaro
“We have had a lot of public, both local and from abroad. We are quite happy for being here. The organization of the event was exceptional, and we are very happy with the professional level and the quality of the public. We will come back for Automechanika Argentina 2010 in support of the Argentinean industry.”
Chief Executive Officer, Dino Maggioni
“We are extremely pleased to be part of this event. I get an excellent impression from Automechanika Argentina. There is quite a variety of exhibitors and many visitors, and this revives the passion and the feeling for this industry and our products.”
Marketing Manager, Robert Schwerbrock
“We are quite happy for being part of this exhibition. We have got very good leads. We find that the level of professionalism of the booths and the attitude of people have been very good. This is quite a beneficial place to introduce our products. We are also quite satisfied for the chance to get in touch with visitors from countries such as Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, among a number. We can see that the exhibition is becoming more and more professional and it is a good chance to get new leads, close business transactions, bring information to the distribution network and help products manufactured in Argentinean sites be sold and displayed to the public in general. We are very happy for having been part of this and expect to come back.”
M. Marketing Manager, Fernando Palasciano
“From the very beginning of this we trusted Automechanika. I believe that the organization is excellent, as well as the number of visitors. We can meet our customers, mechanics, points of sale, distributors, and also our colleagues, the manufacturers. Automechanika is undoubtedly the most important car-part fair in the country. I would like to highlight the support of the fair from Frankfurt, Germany, which has worldwide recognition for its quality. We are very proud to be part of this feast.”
After Sales Manager, Guillermo Agesta
“It is our second time around in Automechanika Argentina. This is the event where all car-part market players get together, and the company is strongly focused on this market. That is why this year we have reinforced our presence with dealers, and we have obtained very good results. We have a very good reference of what the fair is, as we know the structure of Messe Frankfurt in Germany. We are quite happy with the outcome and the quality of the fair, which, we believe, is the best in South America. Much better than the fair in Brazil. That is why we believe that we cannot fail to come and try to make the best of our attendance.”
The next Automechanika will be held on November 3 to 6, 2010 at La Rural Trade Center.