More than 102,500 visitors and 1,514 exhibitors attended the 2013 Autopromotec Show, officially known as the International Biennial Exhibition of Automotive Equipment and Aftermarket Products. The 25th rendition of the event that started in the mid-1960s was held in Bologna, Italy, in May.
A high visitor turnout, of which 83,594 came from Italy and 18,942 from abroad, navigated more than 156,000 square meters of booth space. Show organizers said the 2013 show enjoyed a 2.2% increase in the number of foreign visitors, including representatives from many high-profile, highly specialized businesses, versus 2011.
There were 1.8% fewer Italian exhibitors compared to the 2011 show. The decrease was attributed to businesses hit harder by the economic crisis, such as car wash stations, dealers and workshops, according to the show organizers.
Highlighting the conference portion of the show was a series of presentations on the state of the aftermarket industry in several key countries. These conferences were part of AutopromotecEDU, the trade fair forum that examined the current issues of the automotive aftermarket.
“Understanding the U.S. automotive aftermarket: an overview on trends, tendencies and opportunities for European manufacturers” was one of the conferences. It featured speeches by representatives of many important associations such as the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and Tire Industry Association (TIA).
Arlene Davies and Michael Barrett of AAIA provided a detailed account of the aftermarket in the United States. With more than 250 million vehicles in circulation, the U.S. aftermarket has an annual sales turnover of approximately $307 billion and is the third largest industry in the U.S. economy, accounting for 2.1% of the country’s GDP and employing 4 million people. Even during the current economic crisis, the annual growth of this industry is around 3% to 4%, they said. The crisis has led to the aging of the vehicles in circulation, with positive effects on spare part sales volumes.
“Overall, the industry is likely to experience further growth, as is its European counterpart.”
Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of TIA, discussed the most important figures of the U.S. tire market, currently dominated by replacement tires.
In the U.S., the tire market is transitioning toward products that guarantee better performance from a traditional point of view. But over the next few years, it is expected that efficiency will become a key factor. This market, too, is rather strong and stable, yet its profitability is affected by a number of variables, from restrictions on retreaded tires to the possible privatization of motorways, he added.
The next edition of Autopromotec will take place at Bologna’s exhibition center from May 20 to 24, 2015. ■
Federal’s flagship Formoza:
The new high performance tire is available in the U.S.
Federal Corp. showcased its flagship tire, the Formoza AZ-01, at the recently completed Autopromotec Show in Bologna, Italy.
The new tire is an asymmetric passenger tire that features “great performance, combined with low noise and good levels of wet grip,” Geoffrey Chang, Federal’s marketing department manager, told Modern Tire Dealer at the show.
\The Formoza AZ-01 tire line, now available in the United States, comes in W-, V- and H-rated sizes ranging from 65-series to 40-series. It is available in rim sizes from 15 to 18 inches. The tire features an outside tread pattern with “well-balanced rigidity that spreads pressure equally on the contact patch for excellent dry surface handling,” Chang said.
I\nside-curved groove walls aid shoulder water dispersal for “stability and safety on wet roads at high speeds,” he added. Federal uses five different blocks in the tread to optimize noise reduction.
The Formoza AZ-01 also will have five run-flat sizes available. They will be in 16-inch and 17-inch configurations.