International monument to tires

July 1, 2008

The recent Reifen show in Germany was billed as an international event. So “reifen,” German for “tire,” could just as easily been “pneu” (French), “pneumatico” (Italian), “neumático” (Spanish) or “llanta” (Latin American).

A record number of exhibitors (576) and visitors (17,600) were part of the bi-yearly 25th Reifen International Tyre Fair, held recently at Messe Essen in Essen, Germany.

Exhibitors from 40 countries displayed products and services related to tires, wheels and chassis technology to visitors from more than 80 countries. Nearly 58% of the visitors originated from abroad, compared to 45% in 2006.

Approximately 51% of the visitors were among the top decision-makers in their companies compared to 44.7% in 2006.

Nearly all the exhibitors (97.5%) said they had reached their most important target groups at Reifen 2008.


Exhibitor testimonials

Visitors and exhibitors gave Reifen 2008 high marks for value. The visitor satisfaction level was especially high: 93.2%.

“Reifen 2008 has surpassed our expectations in all areas: with regard to the number of visitors, the orders concluded and the qualitative interest in post-fair business,” says Martin Selbach, commercial director for the HPA branch of ASE Corghi S.p.A. “Here at the fair, the business with run-flat machines has taken off since the certified machines for the assembly and disassembly of these tires were announced here. Our visitors were particularly interested in these machines.”

“We came to Essen with the intentions of intensifying customer contacts and looking for discussions with new customers from Eastern Europe and overseas,” says Jobst Schwarz, trade sales manager for Continental AG. “We have not only attained this objective, but have also exceeded it in part.”

“At Reifen 2008, we have presented our whole corporate group on one multi-brand booth for the first time. The concept came off very well,” says Martina Richerzhagen, marketing manager for Goodyear GmbH. “The fair offers outstanding possibilities of maintaining contacts, and we have held many good discussions.

“This year, we have shown a completely equipped car repair shop on the outdoor site in cooperation with Rema Tip Top,” she says. “That has gone down very well with the visitors. They were able to see and experience the repair shop and the tire service live on the spot.”

“For years, Reifen has been the absolute must for us and the international sectoral meeting place in the world,” says Dietmar Olbrich, sales and marketing adviser of Hankook Reifen Deutschland GmbH. “In Essen, we were able to present, for the first time, the all-weather tire with an ecological label, which was outstandingly received in the expert world. The business with summer tires has gone well. As a result of this trade fair, we are expecting stimuli for the autumn and winter business.”

“We have received outstanding feedback for our new products,” says Roland von Arx, sales director for Michelin Reifenverkaufsgesellschaft GmbH. “The public is very knowledgeable. We are holding serious discussions with customers, especially from Eastern Europe.”

Reifen 2010 will take place at Messe Essen June 1-4, 2010. For more information on Reifen 2008, visit

About the Author

Greg Smith | Publisher

A 36-year veteran of automotive trade publishing, Greg Smith has held various publishing positions at the management level. He has worked extensively on both the editorial and publishing sides of the business and is a recognized expert in the aftermarket and tire industries. As such, he is a frequent speaker at many industry events. He has traveled internationally as an advocate for the industries he serves.

Currently as publisher of Modern Tire Dealer, Greg is responsible for the brand’s business operations.  MTD is where Greg got his start, and through most of the last three decades, has led it to tire market prominence.  

To support education in the tire industry, Greg leads MTD in its sponsorship of the Tire Industry Association’s Certified Instructor Training Tour, a program designed to train the trainer in proper safety and step-by-step procedures for proper wheel installation. As further reinforcement, Greg created the Performance Handbook, a how-to publication on proper ways to mount, balance and work with performance tires. 

To help recognize outstanding tire dealers, Greg helped establish the MTD Dealer of the Year award over 20 years ago. The award provides a deserving tire dealer with recognition for accomplishments both within the industry and in the dealer’s local community. 

Greg helped launch Auto Service Professional magazine in 2010. The primary focus of Auto Service Professional is to provide high-level information to an audience of more than 150,000 automotive professional technicians whether they are business owners or technicians. 

From his early years in the market, Greg has been active participating on industry committees and boards. Among the early ones were APAA and ASIA, and has since participated in AWDA, SEMA, NTDRA, TIA and TANA. 

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