Tire Cologne will considerably expand the offering in comparison to the Reifen, Essen event. It will provide a reflection of the industry at all levels that corresponds exactly to the needs of the market and underlines the future orientation in the specialist tire trade: this of course includes the tire industry and the tire trade, including related segments like rims, remoulding, the wholesale trade, but also additional services in the tire workshop, whether these involve brakes, lights, engine settings or shock absorbers.
Here, however, we don't only focus only on cars, as is the case at the new Reifen location. Instead, we address all of the relevant industry target groups: trucks, commercial and industrial vehicles, special vehicles and two-wheelers.
Reifen and Automechanika are merging – isn't that a big advantage?
Hamma: In a game of chess one might say: good move. But no more than that. The global tyre industry is strong and confident enough for its own trade fair platform; one which presents what the industry needs in concentrated form. The option of docking onto another trade fair as a satellite event in no way fits with the self-image of the industry and its strengths.
What's needed is an independent business platform that develops with our conceptual changes for the future. Several attempts have been made in the past to tie in the industry with Automechanika, but this was never really a suitable option for the tire industry. The industry wants to move forward and has therefore decided in favour of the move to Cologne.
Your dates are the original date for Reifen; Automechanika is in September. Which date is better for the industry?
Hamma: May is definitively and clearly the right point in time for the industry: the winter season and the time for changing tires has passed, and the trade now has time to prepare and plan for the coming months. In September everyone is already heavily involved again with the upcoming winter business. There was a reason why the event in Essen took place in May.
What does cooperation with the BRV look like, and what can we expect from it?
Hamma: With the Bundesverband Reifenhandel und Vulkaniseur-Handwerk e.V. (BRV) we have a very strong partner, with an excellent network for supply and demand, and with a good sense for the direction in which the the industry needs to develop in order to be "fit for the future".
The in-depth industry knowledge, the broad network and the valuable connections with international partner associations perfectly supplement our activities. This insider knowledge is extremely valuable for us, for example, where target group-compatible communication, supporting programme and lobbying are involved.
Which visitor structures does Tire Cologne want to address?
Hamma: As a leading tire fair, first of all the national and international wholesale and retail tire trade, of course. We address other visitor potential in the segments online commerce and automotive workshops, as well as automotive dealerships or contract partners. We also want to generate new visitor target groups from the areas of fleet management and recycling.
The "fleet management" segment promises attractive potential. Here it is not only about the car fleets of companies, but also the fleets, for example, of transport companies, construction companies or other businesses. We want to promote contact and potential business relations between the tire industry, the tire trade and fleet managers in a targeted fashion.
What about recycling?
Recycling is an exciting topic for the industry in the future, and one which has had little attention in the past: in addition to remoulding, thermal and material recycling offers interesting potential for development. For Tire Cologne we are planning a special area in which questions can be discussed. In this environment, specialised machine manufacturers and professional recyclers, who operate in precisely these thematic areas, present their range of services. This will definitely represent a great deal of added value for the event.
Automotive services – a theme in both Cologne and in Frankfurt. What is the difference?
Hamma: The tire trade and the workshops that look after services specifically involving tires want to see innovations and solutions for these workshop services and related automotive services in a packaged form – from cars to commercial vehicles. And it is precisely this that we will present in the context of Tire Cologne. A clear focus on the themes that drive the industry and promise sustained impetus.
Will anything change in the price system for exhibitors and visitors?
Hamma: the prices for both exhibitors and visitors will remain stable. Accommodation costs will also stay within the normal range. Hotel costs, by the way, are an interesting point. For exhibitors that do go to Frankfurt, hotel costs will be a significant issue, as these always go throught the roof during large trade fairs such as automechanika.
How is Tire Cologne being received?
Hamma: We have already received more than 100 confirmations and sold around 40 percent of the planned exhibit space. And that two years before the premiere! Continental, Goodyear Dunlop, Michelin and Pirelli, but also Aeolus Tyres, BKT, Kumho Tyre, Maxam, Maxxis, Nexen Tire, Obo Tyres, Reifenwerk Heidenau, Sailun Tyres, Techking, Yokohama and the association of automotive tuners (VDAT) will all be there.
The wheel sector is already now almost completely behind The Tire Cologne with Alcar, Autec, AVG, BBS, Borbet, Brock, CMS, MAK, OZ, Ronal Group and Uniwheels. Alligator, Schrader and Rema TipTop have confirmed their participation in the workshop services section. Kraiburg and Salvadori are exemples of exhibitors from the tyre remoulding segment.
In addition to others, the tyre trade is represented by Bohnenkamp, Deestone, Euromaster, Heuver, GDHS, Interpneu, Membat, Point S, R. Krieg, Reifen Specht, Triangle, Tyre 1 and tyremotive. The major online platforms tyre24.com and gettygo have also already booked. To our knowledge, only the only companies that intend to participate at automechanika are those that have already exhibited in Frankfurt in the past. All others do not. This is a great interim result. We are completely satisfied with the result so far.
In conclusion: your forecast for the other automotive fairs?
Hamma: We remain relaxed about the current situation. The major tire manufactuers and the tire trade have positioned themselves clearly in favour of a strong tire trade fair in Cologne and issued a clear signal in favour of Koelnmesse in their statements. This is now reflected in the commitments to Tire Cologne that we have already received. Our sales team carried out more than 200 discussions at the last Reifen 2016 and the mood is clear: in 2018 the industry will meet in Cologne!