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A new era for UK tire shows

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A new era for UK tire shows

With Europe’s “exhibition season” truly in full swing following the highly successful Reifen 2014 Show in Germany, Automechanika Frankfurt is on the horizon and it will be another very busy few months for all tire businesses in Europe.

Therefore, thoughts are now turning toward the Brityrex 2014 Show, which will be held in Manchester, the UK’s second largest city.

The Brityrex show is a biannual event that has been presented for many years by UK event organizers ECI International Ltd. who, in my opinion, have done an incredible job in evolving this show to its current format. However, it is no secret that the show has always had to live in the shadow of its much larger and more powerful competitor — the Reifen Show — which attracts interest from all corners of the globe.

To be fair, Brityrex has always been openly staged as a show for the UK and Irish tire markets, and as such has suffered in recent years from a distinct lack of solid backing from all aspects of the UK tire industry and in particular European-based tire manufacturers. For as long as I can remember while working in the industry, I cannot recall any major brand supporting the show by taking a booth.

In fact, I am constantly hearing (unconfirmed) rumors that the show has “run its course” and should cease to be staged. However, far from being a doomed event, Brityrex is now fighting back, and I believe something may be stirring within the UK industry concerning the show.

These positive thoughts have recently been compounded by the totally unexpected news that leading tire producer Pirelli has confirmed it will be exhibiting at Brityrex 2014, which may have changed the UK’s sometimes negative opinion of their show.

Pirelli is famously known as the current exclusive tire supplier for the global Formula One racing series, which means Brityrex has engineered a major coup in capturing them for this year’s show.

In 2013, ECI International joined forces with Singapore-based Singex Exhibitions Pte. Ltd. to form SingEx-ECI International Pte. Ltd., and this new joint venture has not only successfully staged Tyrexpo events in Singapore and South Africa, but also adopted a refreshing new approach to the impending Brityrex event.

Like many other people in the UK tire industry, I have always thought that if Brityrex could attract just one prestigious tire producer to support the show, then it is quite possible other leading tire manufacturers would follow.

So far that has not happened, but with almost three months before the show is staged, there is still time for late developments.

Of course, it could well be that all other leading manufacturers will just sit on the fence for now and monitor the progress/success of Pirelli at the show before deciding whether to exhibit at events in the future. However, the Brityrex show has perhaps turned the corner and will now be taken more seriously by some critical factions in the UK market.

As reported widely in the financial press, the UK as a country appears to be recovering better than most if not all of its European neighbors, and I feel this “feel-good factor” is starting to re-invigorate the tire market. So I hope that sceptical companies will now reconsider their opinion and get behind SingEx-ECI International’s determined efforts to take the Brityrex show to greater levels of support, attendance and success.

Singex Exhibitions has already announced that from July 2015 they will be wholly acquiring the business from current partners ECI International, and I am informed they have a series of new developments planned to take the Tyrexpo and Brityrex shows to even higher levels of professionalism and diversity in the future.

I do not believe the Brityrex Show will ever reach the status of the Reifen Show or the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in the United States, but I am confident that we are about to witness a new era of progress in UK tire shows.    ■

John Stone has been working within the global tire industry for the last 20 years. In 2004, he launched his own company, Sapphire Media Services, as a business media consultant with clients around the globe. Stone also writes for tire and automotive-related publications in Europe, South Africa and Asia.

To read more of John Stone's articles, see:

Wacky wheels are the future

In Europe, there are too many tires and not enough sales

Digging into Europe's pothole crisis

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