The Stuttgart Messe once again opened its doors to European Automotive Components Expo, the leading international exhibition for OEM and Tier 1 and 2 automotive component suppliers. And this year’s event built on the success of 2009, with visitors getting the opportunity to discover the very latest breakthroughs in a wide range of automotive engineering areas, and network with key decision makers representing new and emerging automotive markets from around the world. Making a keynote speech at the show was Mlađan Dinkic, the deputy prime minister of Serbia, who not only welcomed visitors to the Stuttgart Messe, but also outlined why Serbia is positioning itself to become an attractive R&D and production base for automotive suppliers and OEMs around the world (see ‘Time is right’ below).
Such a buzz ensured exhibitors and visitors were equally impressed with this year’s European Automotive Components Expo. “This is my first time to the show and I’m here to discover the latest trends in automotive component technology. I’m really impressed with the suppliers that are here,” enthused Niranjan Mariyanna, senior programme manager at Mercedes-Benz. Meanwhile Victor Cao, vice president at IKD Group, summed up the feeling from behind the booths: “We’ve come from China to meet new people and show our die-casting processes. By being at European Automotive Components Expo 2010, we’ve managed to set up meetings with key people.”
State-of-the-art technologies being showcased at this year’s European Automotive Components Expo included high-performance plastic compounds and resins, sheet-metal stamping, aluminium pressure die-casting and machining, cold-formed fasteners, precision-turned parts, springs and seals, sensors, motors and regulators, valves, oil pumps and windscreen-washer systems.
As well as boasting established suppliers from developed countries, European Automotive Components Expo 2010 played host to companies from such places as China, Slovenia, Mexico, Brazil, India and Macedonia, providing visitors with unrivalled access to new suppliers in emerging markets.
This essential supplier trade fair promises to be even better when European Automotive Components Expo returns to the Stuttgart Messe next year, so be sure to keep 17, 18, 19 May 2011 free.
“We’re here to try to get OEM European business and so far I’ve been impressed with the exhibition”
Robert Zhu, chairman, Ningbo Wohn Industries
“The show has provided us with key OEM leads”
Oswaldo Dal Col Filho, commercial manager, Deluma
“European Automotive Components Expo 2010 is a good show – it’s better than last year”
Linda Negro, commercial manager, From Concept To Car
“We’ve come from China to meet new people and show our die-casting processes. By being at European Automotive Components Expo 2010, we’ve managed to set up meetings with key people”
Victor Cao, vice president, IKD Group
“This is my first time to the show and I’m here to discover the latest trends in automotive component technology. I’m really impressed with the suppliers that are here”
Niranjan Mariyanna, senior programme manager, Mercedes-Benz
“It’s a good show: there’s lots to see and many people to speak to”
Giulio Cantone, COO, RG Technologies
Time is right
Already doing business with Fiat, General Motors, Volkswagen, Suzuki, Delphi, Faurecia and Leoni, the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) made its debut at this year’s European Automotive Components Expo looking to promote Serbia as a new hub for automotive R&D and production. SIEPA is a governmental organisation dedicated to helping foreign investors and buyers while raising the country’s profile. The organisation’s main activities include providing a database of automotive investment locations in Serbia; assisting foreign investors with project implementation within the country; and conducting regular surveys of the Serbian automotive sector. SIEPA says there are several reasons that make Serbia an attractive location for OEMs and suppliers to invest in, with advantages to Serbia including tax incentives, quality human resources, low operating costs and strategic geographic locations.
LPG and CNG breakthrough
One of the busiest booths at European Automotive Components Expo was that of G-1 Autogas Systems, which presented an entirely new concept in LPG and CNG conversion systems. What sets the company’s products apart from those of its competitors is the fact that no mapping or calibration is needed after the system has been physically installed. For this reason, the company says its product is the only one suitable for large-scale assembly-line installation. After the car is assembled, it can be sold without any further testing of the autogas system. The advantages of G-1’s systems include real-time injection, no computer setup needed, seven-year warranty, patented technology and reliability.
Ningbo V-Shine Auto Parts exhibited at European Automotive Components Expo 2010 with the aim of increasing the company’s profile with suppliers and OEMs in Europe. An ISO/TS16949-registered company, V-Shine is already an established forced in China, supplying drive axles to Geely, BYD and JAC. The company’s facility currently rolls out 100,000 complete drive axles per month, 42,000 of them for Geely. Despite such success in the company’s domestic market, Maggie Wang, V-Shine’s export manager, says the firm is now ready to expand in the West, with its current product line encompassing more than 3,500 vehicle applications, as well as providing a two-year/60,000km warranty for all its aftermarket products.
Making the journey from India to this year’s European Automotive Components Expo was Tamboli Casting, which this year used the trade fair to promote the company’s CNC machining facility, which boasts high-end machining and quality-assurance instruments. The company’s castings are manufactured by a lost-wax process in ferrous and non-ferrous alloys, with single piece weights of 100kg. With a turnover of over US$6.5 million, Tamboli Casting is in a position to supply fully machined components and subassemblies in small, medium, and large batches. The Indian supplier is a TUV-Nord certified company.
One of the busiest pavilions at this year’s European Automotive Components Expo was that of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency. Four key Brazilian supplier companies – Deluma, Delta, FRUM and Sulmaq – were represented at the pavilion, and all caught the attention of many visitors. Sulmaq, which specialises in the manufacture of high-precision investment cast parts for a variety of applications, had a particularly good expo. The company’s monthly production exceeds 80 tonnes, 50% of which is for the automotive industry, and now Sulmaq is ready to expand through new, European business. Sulmaq’s technical department can meet market changes and has advanced resources, such as software applications for solidification simulation. Both Deluma and Delta specialise in die-casting and aluminium castings, and FRUS has, for the last 50 years, been a leading Brazilian manufacturer of wheel hubs, brake disks and drums, and ductile cast-iron parts.
From Concept to Car, which provides foreign buyers with the opportunity to get in touch with more than 150 top-flight Piedmont suppliers, had one of the busiest booths at this year’s European Automotive Components Expo, with visitors flocking to see the interesting Hysyrider concept, Italy’s first hydrogen-powered scooter. Tested in indoor and outdoor environments with good results in terms of safety, stability, flexibility and comfort, the Hysyrider features a hybrid architecture. The fuel cell (200W, 20 cells) works in parallel with a battery pack (7.2Ah), all of which allows for easy startup. The parallel function is supported by a DC/DC converter that is used to increase and further stabilise the fuel-cell voltage. A 200-litre Ni-hydride tank stores the hydrogen fuel. Other stars on the From Concept to Car stand included the A-Trix – a prototype three-wheeled hydrogen-powered scooter – and the H-ergo – a four-wheel vehicle that runs on two 800W electric-motor wheels.
Hungarian and Macedonian booths get busy
This year’s European Automotive Components Expo boasted several regional development agencies. One of the busiest was ITD Hungary, the Hungarian government’s investment and trade development agency, which was established in 1993 to promote foreign investment and bilateral trade. With representative offices in the eight regional centres of Hungary, a foreign network operating under Hungary’s diplomatic services, and special assignments in more than 50 countries, ITD Hungary is a single point of contact to support decision makers looking for new business opportunities in Hungary.
Co-exhibitors at the collective Hungarian booth at European Automotive Components Expo included: Bálind Kft, which offers precision metal part production in middle and high volumes using multi-spindle automatic lathes, processing centres, CNC lathes and CNC processing centres; Ecseri, which offers aluminium high-pressure die casting, machining and tool making, based on customers’ specifications; Eltec Holding, an expert manufacturer in handling complicated tasks in cable set production for the automotive, home appliance and computer industries; and Hajdu Autotechnika, a world-class automotive industry service provider.
Another regional booth that attracted visitors was the Macedonia Automotive Cluster pavilion, which returned to European Automotive Components Expo this year after a successful debut in 2009. Six of the country’s leading automotive companies participated at the show, offering OEM production and aftermarket solutions for customers’ sourcing requirements, including machined, forged, die-cast and injection-moulded parts; tool and die moulds; safety, clutch and brake systems; electric components; embedded automotive software; and exhaust components.