Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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The fourth edition of the Chengdu International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts and Aftermarket Services (CAPAS) - held from 25th to 27th May, 2017 at the Chengdu Century City New International Exhibition & Convention Center in China - concluded on a high note with 6 brand new zones. With these new zones, CAPAS successfully created a comprehensive marketplace for every sector that is involved in the supply chain and upheld its clear objective to play a leading role in the region as a one-stop platform for business, information exchange and investment.
As one of the invited media to the show for the first time, The Tyreman was impressed by the really good, versatile and well balanced mix of brands and coverage for the automotive parts and after services industry in the region. Occupying 45,000 square metres, the event featured 522 exhibitors, among whom were well-known international leading brands such as Asia-Pacific, ENEOS, Liqui Moly, Mitasu, Olympus, Bosch, Bluestar, FAW, MANN+HUMMEL, Meineke, Mobil, Motul, Michelin, Saic-Iveco, Snap-On and Wabco.
According to the organiser, Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai), the Commercial Vehicle Zone and E-Mobility & Infrastructure Zone in particular, were expanded due to the robust demand from both sectors. These areas were, of course, also our interest as under the Valebridge Publications (Asia), we have another magazine called Truck and Bus News.
Chengdu is at the key logistic hub in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative and is experiencing rapid growth in the demand of commercial vehicles. Doubling in size from the last edition, the Commercial Vehicle Zone this year was strongly supported by well-known commercial vehicle manufacturers and engine companies including Beiqi Foton, Binzhou Bohai, Bosch, Sino Trucks, Wabco, among others. Eleven fringe events were held concurrently to provide trading, exchange and education opportunities for the sector. Highlights included Commercial Vehicle Services and Branding Strategy – Chengdu, Summit for Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket Development in Southwest China and Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle Spare-Parts Procurement Conference.
The Malaysian government has lofty ambitions for electric mobility in the country. Under the National Electric Mobility Blueprint, the authorities are aiming for 100,000 electric cars on the road by 2020, along with 2,000 electric buses and 125,000 charging stations. A walk-through of the E-Mobility and Infrastructure Zone, which occupied an entire hall, offered indeed a glimpse of the promising future of new energy vehicles and an eye-opener for the new technology. The display of new energy vehicles, related parts and components, and the latest market development from industry leaders such as Baic Motor, BYD, General Motors, Porsche, Volvo, together with key players from Sichun such as Shudu Bus, Xinzhu Tonggong and Yema as well as Geely Auto were presented in the respective new energy series of bus and trucks.
The other four equally important areas were Supply Chain Procurement Zone, Quick Fix & Replacement Parts Zone, Automotive Life Style Zone and Made in Sichuan Zone.
What is worth mentioning was the debut of the Hong Kong and Japan pavilions. The former had about 20 exhibitors, led by the Hong Kong Auto Parts Industry Association and Hong Kong Productivity Council.
“We saw a lot of opportunities in the western part of China, which has a combined population of more than 280 million with huge automotive demands. Hong Kong has been exporting a large variety of auto parts and accessories to Japan and other countries, and we hope to explore the market here. Mass adoption of electric vehicles is coming and probably much sooner than most people would realise. We are able to produce a full range of auto parts for electric vehicles, including auxiliary controls, HV junction boxes, power inverters and electric air-conditioning units,” said Hong Kong Auto Parts Industry Association Vice President Norman Ng.
Hong Kong Productivity Council Senior Consultant Francis Lai added that many Hong Kong companies had been engaged in the auto parts business for many years and achieved a certain standing within the industry. “Thus, they are here to share our technology and expertise in this area.”
Hong Kong was frequently described as a place where ‘East meets West’, Ng said, reflecting the cultural mix of the territory’s Chinese roots and the culture that was brought over during its time as a British colony. This had obviously become their strength, enabling them to understand and adapt to the local needs and requirements promptly and easily.
Meanwhile, Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Deputy General Manager Fiona Chiew said this edition was the largest show for the company, occupying 4 halls compared to 3 last year with many exhibitors returning with bigger booths.
As to why Chengdu was selected to host the show, she said according to the Traffic Management Bureau of the Public Security Ministry, Chengdu and Chongqing recorded 4.12 million and 3.28 million car owners respectively in 2016 and ranked second and third among 49 Chinese cities with more than 1 million automobiles being produced. Moreover, it was known as one of the most important car manufacturing bases in the nation; 4.45 million vehicles were manufactured last year in Sichuan and Chongqing. These promising figures, she stressed, reflected that Sichuan and Chongqing played a leading role in driving forward economic development in southwestern China. As a leading trade fair for auto parts and aftermarket services in this Chinese region, it was important for CAPAS to continue growing in line with the fast-moving market.
“The creation of 6 brand new zones demonstrated how we responded to the new needs of the regional market and supported our exhibitors in the expansion of their business within the region. By gathering players from related sectors into each specific zone, it delivered an all-in-one promotion and trading platform for exhibitors and buyers from around the world. Furthermore, this enhanced structure helped visitors easily identify and visit suppliers and products that are of the most interest, allowing greater interaction and increasing the efficiency in business matchmaking.”
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