Philippe Baudin, the Chairman of EQUIP AUTO, explains the reasons for this new success: “Following a redesigned and well-executed 2017 edition, we were keen to confirm that EQUIP AUTO was back in business. The strategic groundwork we conducted upstream in association with all the industry bodies made it possible to embed the exhibition at the heart of industry issues and revisit its format.
In addition, I am particularly proud to see so many young people in attendance from specialist schools and training colleges. Their supervised and well-planned visits led to constructive dialogue with exhibitors, fostering the transmission of knowledge, a theme I am particularly sensitive to.” Despite two days of strikes affecting public transport on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October, EQUIP AUTO continued to attract high numbers of visitors, with international attendance up by 22% compared with the 2017 exhibition.
A PLATFORM FOR THE INDUSTRY
Claude Cham, the Chairman of the French Federation of Vehicle Industries and Equipment (FIEV) and Patrick Cholton, the Chairman of the French Bodywork Federation (FFC), observed with satisfaction that the strategy aiming to consolidate the tradeshow’s positioning had paid off. The organisers, meanwhile, welcomed the positive business climate in evidence throughout the five-day exhibition, thanks to the attendance of many highly qualified decision makers and visitors. Another reason to support the satisfaction of the organisers is the development of the show’s international reach. Philippe Baudin, the Chairman of EQUIP AUTO, furthermore recalled that 60% of exhibitors in attendance this year were from outside France. Also in the words of the exhibition’s Chairman, this international aspect was also distinctly noticeable through the wide array of countries represented by the visitors and the many embassies welcomed throughout the five days.
The FIEV and the FFC, meanwhile, also pointed to the political and industrial recognition now earned by EQUIP AUTO, the only international-scale event in France dedicated to automotive aftersales.
Indeed, a number of industrial and business bodies sent delegations to the show, including
representatives from the French employers’ federation MEDEF who accompanied its chairman Mr Roux de Bézieux on his visit, but also members of France Industrie and international business leaders invited by FIEV with a view to furthering industrial cooperation in the automobile industry.
Many members of parliament and senators were encouraged to visit the show by the FIEV, and came to meet automotive aftersales company directors to gain better insight into the challenges raised by the profound transformation of the automobile industry and its impact on the cities and regions of France.
Finally, another strong indication of official government recognition was given with the attendance of Mme Muriel Pénicaud, the French Minister for Employment, at the Gala evening held on Tuesday 15 October in the presence of more than 350 leading figures from the automobile industry. The Minister declared: “The automotive equipment industry supplies 400,000 jobs at the heart of the digital and ecological transitions and employs 55,000 trainees with an ambition for 20% more. The battle for skills lies at the heart of our manufacturing pact.”
AN ESSENTIAL OBSERVATORY LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY
Firmly established at Paris, Porte de Versailles, the 2019 edition of EQUIP AUTO attracted 1,200 international exhibitors and brands, including 30% new exhibitors this year, representing all sectors of activity connected with the automotive aftersales and services for mobility of today and for the future. The challenges of automotive and aftersales were addressed by many well-established companies on the market, but also by some 70 start-ups brought together for EQUIP AUTO, illustrating the aptitude of the show to harness the theme of digital transformation in the industry and support young firms in their development.
Innovation, an ever-present theme at the show which was best represented by an outstanding edition of the International Grands Prix for Automotive Innovation, was once again one of the main markers of this edition, illustrating the drive and dynamism of the sector. Throughout the show, no fewer than 150 automotive aftersales market experts and observers took to the stage in a comprehensive programme of talks and round tables (a total of 34 during the show), offering visitors an opportunity for insight and understanding of the challenges arising in the industry and from its development. The organisers are already working on how to further develop the exhibition in view of new mobility
trends which will have instant and profound repercussions on the entire automobile industry.