UPS AND DOWNS AS INTERAUTO'S TENTH EDITION IN MOSCOW ENDS
Aica’s “DNA Made in Italy” initiative
Market uncertainties weigh-down the Moscow International Motor Show
The tenth edition of the Interauto automotive aftermarket show took place from August 28 to 31 this year, as always at the renovated Crucus Expo Exhibition Ground.
On this occasion, the event was held to partly coincide with the Moscow International Automobile Salon (MIAS), which presented numerous innovations and new vehicles aimed at the Russian market, with a special interest for Chinese manufacturers who, with a dozen exhibitors, occupied an entire pavilion at the Exhibition Grounds.
Alongside the pomp, glittering cars and flashy models, the Interauto salon has once again confirmed itself as the reference exhibition for the Russian market, especially for its "European" part, while rather disappointing was the presence of foreign companies, particularly fearful at this stage due to political skirmishes and not only along the Ukrainian border, which has led to a heightened tension with NATO countries and the risk of a Russian embargo on different categories of imported products, including workshop equipment.
Although in the following weeks this risk seems to have been reduced, in the weeks immediately preceding the event, also because of the tragedy of the missile that brought down the Malaysian Airlines jet as it flew over Ukrainian airspace, these issues had seriously obscured the regular business activity, which inevitably reflected this climate of uncertainty on exhibitions, events that have always been particularly sensitive to the influence of external factors, both political and economical.
Now, going back to Interauto, for the first time, according to the official press release from the organizers, operators have had the chance to get a free entry by simply pre-registering online. This was a move to try to counter the contemporary opening of the MIMS – Automechanika salon, which took place on almost overlapping days at the Expocentrum Exhibition Ground, which, as some visitors claimed, has been a rather difficult edition much for the same reasons mentioned above, emphasized by the international appeal which had been given to the event.
According to data supplied by the organizers, the exhibition space of Interauto 2014 reached 46,000 square meters, accommodating over 700 exhibitors from 30 regions of the Russian Federation and 19 foreign countries (Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, India, Iran, Spain, Italy, China, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Russia, Romania, USA, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, France and South Korea). Each of them displayed its latest products, from automotive components to engines, from spare parts to electronic components, from tire equipment and tire repair shop tools to car care products.
Noteworthy was also the fact that there were, within the 5 occupied pavilions, 5 country areas of different sizes representing Germany, Italy, China, Turkey and Taiwan.
The Italian area is actually part of a new international project proposed by AICA (Italian Garage Equipment Manufacturers Association) mainly for its members and called "DNA Made in Italy": a communication project and an exhibition area dedicated to Italian excellence in the field of garage equipment, displaying the quality of Italian products and the importance of trade fair and exhibition services as well as the associations represented.
The garage equipment industry sees Italy in fact in a position of leadership and the "DNA Made in Italy" initiative is an opportunity to bring this excellence to the attention of the markets and international operators.
This first initiative saw Cormach, Dino Paoli, Fasep and Future taking part in it.
The next step of this promotion will take place at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where in the collective "DNA Made in Italy" powered by AICA and Autopromotec exhibition space, 5 member companies will showcase their latest products and innovations to American stakeholders and market players.
In the calendar of Interauto’s in-depth sector studies, two events have gained general attention: The first was "The International Assembly of Automotive Industry (MAA 2014)", which has incorporated into its sessions also the "II International Forum of local suppliers for the garage equipment’s industry", and the "Forum Autosphere": this has explored a number of issues related to sales, services, logistics and innovations.
The second one saw the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) as the leading actor, which, with the help of international experts and managers from the industry’s leading German companies, have introduced and then analyzed the issues related to the development and management of quality standards, both relating to products and services.
Visitors also had the opportunity to take part in an awards ceremony called "The Golden Wrench 2014" dedicated primarily to independent international market professionals and key-players in Russia’s car service market.
Among the organizers were EGEA, ASA, GIPA, a number of media agencies covering the automotive industry and Internet portals.
Many of the sector’s premium brands have received awards and nominations in a comprehensive series of 26 different categories, valuing the project not only for its intrinsic value but also as a concrete aid to promoting their products, especially to operators in a new market such as Russia.
A considerable effort therefore was made by the organizers to provide all the possible opportunities for a successful participation. Between lanes and stands the first two days were infused with a buzzing atmosphere and certainly some contracts have been signed, but we cannot emphasize enough that the local market’s situation, in this particular economic period, coupled with the serious political crisis mentioned earlier, has cast a shadow over the event.
The hope, given the strategic importance for the Russian market and the development to which we have become accustomed in recent years, is that we will soon return to experience the excitement once so common, starting with next year’s event.