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The Tire Cologne 2020, All the latest news

Left to right: Dr. Ralf Deckers, IFH Cologne GMBH; Ingo Riederberg, The Tire Cologne; Maximiliane Sarwas, host and moderator; Gerald Bose, President and CEO Koelnmesse; Stephan Helm, BRV President. Photo: Koelnmesse/Thomas Klerx

The biennial tire exhibition will be back from June 9 to 12 in Cologne: the organizers announce many news

Francesca Del Bello

The second edition of TheTire Cologne, a biennial exhibition dedicated to the world of tires as well as garage equipment, will take place from June 9 to 12 at the Cologne exhibition centre. The most significant news of the 2020 edition of the event organized by Koelnmesse in collaboration with BRV (Bundesverband Reifenhandel und Vulkaniseur-Handwerk.), the German association of tire dealers and retreaders, were illustrated by the organisers during an international press conference at the beginning of October. The speakers were Gerald Böse, president and CEO of Koelnmesse, Ingo Riederberg, The Tire Cologne director, Stephan Helm, president of BRV and Dr. Ralph Deckers, research division manager at the IFH Köln research institute. The conference rooms at the Cologne Motorworld exhibition centre, building that until the Second World War housed the German city's civil airport, were chosen as the venue for the press conference. The areas once dedicated to the traffic of departing and arriving passengers are now dedicated to showcasing vehicles from the past and the present: from the cars on display, to private luxury cars protected by glass boxes, not to mention the workshops dedicated to caring for and repairing the many cars on display (and not only), everything inside the Cologne Motorworld talks about engines. In addition, an exhibition dedicated to F1 legend Michael Schumacher, who comes from a town near Cologne, will showcase much of the memorabilia of the German driver's brilliant sporting career, from racing suits, trophies, to single-seater racing cars. A temple for automotive enthusiasts, and a suitable venue to unveil the details of The Tire Cologne 2020.

First let’s look at the numbers: as reported by BRV President Stephan Helm, around 207.5 million tires were sold as aftermarket replacements in Europe in 2018, divided between the car and light truck segments, of which 50.5 million were sold in Germany alone. Added to this, a further 10 million tires were sold in smaller markets such as buses and trucks, motorcycles – still a niche market - farming and construction equipment. A market development, Helm points out again, which has proved to be substantially stable in recent years, despite the significant mutations taking place in the automotive sector in terms of technological development, which involves new engines with alternative power supplies and scores of digital systems dedicated to both the development of vehicles and the after-sales market.

The data reported by the president of BRV served as the background for the following announcements by the organizers of the event, who stated that about 80% of the available exhibition space, an area of about 70,000 m2 distributed over 4 exhibition halls, have already been occupied, nine months prior to the start of the event. Among the 350 companies that have already confirmed their participation, many of the top market players will also be present. As the director of The Tire Cologne Ingo Riederberger explained, they will no longer be located exclusively in Halls 6 and 7, as was the case in the first edition of the exhibition, but will receive additional adequate space in Hall 8: "This ensures an even better distribution of visitors within the halls of The Tire Cologne, with an eye on segments such as car service and workshop equipment," the manager said. A superb showcase for all exhibiting companies, whether well-established on the market or smaller realities and even niche companies, which will have the perfect opportunity to get to know and make themselves known to an audience of potential customers and partners.

However, to attract exhibitors and visitors, business opportunities alone, albeit important, are not enough: there’s a need for moments of discussion and networking, to take stock of the current market scenario and look to the future. At The Tire Cologne, the organizers announce, there will be no shortage of such moments. Starting from the first day of the event, the "Global Retreading Conference", dedicated to tire retreading and recycling, has already been scheduled in Hall 9, with retreaded tires and circular economy as its central theme. The Recycling Forum, also scheduled in Hall 9, will focus on environmental sustainability, with specific attention to tire recycling.

The up-coming edition will also include a TIRE Fleet Lounge, an area dedicated to fleets and commercial vehicles, in line with the 2018 edition and the Tire Fleet Day, an event that took place last May. The area will be dedicated to commercial vehicle fleet managers, within which it will be possible to follow meetings, lectures and in-depth discussions on the subject.

Furthermore, Hall 9 will host a special area, “Future Mobility”, dedicated to the mobility of the future. A suitable space in which to think, compare and discuss a theme that touches all aspects of the automotive industry: as Stephan Helm points out, "the tire, wheel and bodywork segments must follow the structural change taking place [in the sector], and keep it constantly monitored". As pointed out by the organizers, here, market experts will try to answer questions about future changes in mobility, and how these changes may affect the market, and what effects these may also have on the tire sector. But, the organizers promise, within the "Future Mobility" area, a space where visitors may "touch" the latest developments affecting the sector, where autonomous or electric vehicles will be used.

One of the leitmotifs of the next edition of The Tire Cologne, digitization, is also connected to the overall theme of future mobility. As Koelnmesse CEO Gerald Böse says, "digitisation influences markets and needs, just as it influences our exhibitors and visitors. Digitisation is therefore a key aspect for the tire and wheel industry as it sets trends and produces changes". This is an important topic for Koelnmesse, which has placed digitisation at the centre of its business development programmes, and for the entire tire industry, as demonstrated by the study conducted by the IFH Köln research institute with the participation of Koelnmesse, presented by Dr. Ralf Deckers at the European press conference. "The Tire Cologne - explained Böse - together with IFH, Institut für Handelsforschung in Cologne, conducted an extensive study and survey in five key markets, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France and Poland. The aim of the study was to examine the most relevant issues for the market in each country, and how each market reacts to changes in digital transformation and digital tools, market trends or personnel research and training. The study, entitled "The leap forward. Future challenges for the European tire trade", confirmed that the sector - in general - attaches great importance to the issue of digitisation, despite the fact that most players in the tire industry still consider their expertise in this field to be rather poor. A further subject that will no doubt attract attention concerns the search and selection of specialised personnel: the overall figure for the 5 countries shows that 36% of the respondents are concerned about the search for specialised personnel in the near future, 65% of the total also stated that they have experienced problems, within the company, in finding suitable specialised personnel to fill existing vacancies. The latter figure, therefore, calls for a broad and in-depth analysis, embracing not only the issue of technological progress, but also the fundamental issue of staff training.

The organizers of The Tire Cologne are gearing up to offer their exhibitors and visitors a space (in the broadest sense of the word) where they can bring together ideas, challenges and proposals for the future and where to do business, transforming the fair into a real channel of communication. In the words of Gerald Böse: "our thoughts and actions are oriented towards continuous development: we see ourselves as part of the tire and wheel industry, and we want to be a real driving force in terms of useful contents aimed at the growth of the industry".


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