Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Attendance at auto parts show suffers

OPTIMISM The show's organizer said a competing exhibition in Shanghai affected the turnout, but added that buyers looking for better quality products still visited Taipei

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Despite a drop in the number of foreign visitors, the auto electronics exposition still received positive feedback during the four days of the exhibition that ended yesterday, the show's organizer said.

The two-in-one show -- featuring the Taipei International Auto Parts and Accessories Show (Taipei AMPA) and Taipei International Automobile Electronics Show (AutoTronics Taipei) -- attracted more than 4,300 foreign visitors.

But the figure was down compared with some 5,000 foreign buyers who visited the Taipei AMPA alone last year, when both shows were held separately on different days, the show organizer the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (外貿協會, TAITRA) said.

"In addition to the Easter holiday, which affected the turnout, Shanghai is holding a similar show in two weeks' time, which may have attracted some buyers, especially those who want to check out lower-priced products," said Kevin Wu (吳春見), a TAITRA manager, on the sidelines of the show's wrap-up press conference yesterday.

The biennial Chinese show, the 12th International Automobile and Manufacturing Technology Exhibition, will take place at the Shanghai New International Expo Center from April 22 to April 28.

But buyers looking for potential suppliers of better quality and higher-end products still opted to come to Taipei, Wu said.

In general, the Taipei show garnered positive feedback from exhibitors and visiting buyers alike.

For instance, Magna International Inc, Canada's largest auto parts supplier which is reportedly interested in acquiring DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler division, is mulling plans to set up a research and development center in Taiwan, TAITRA said.

"Magna executives were impressed by Taiwan's competitiveness in the auto electronics industry. They are considering setting up research facilities here to make use of domestic resources," said Kevin Wei (魏光勛), executive director of TAITRA's exhibition department.

Exhibitors from across the Strait also spoke positively of the Taipei show, Wei said.

A Chinese company, which took part in the Taipei show for the first time this year, has asked for more booth space next year, saying 80 percent of the visitors were professional buyers looking to seal deals, Wei said.

His sentiment was echoed by local vendors.

"The show offers us a good platform to say hi to existing clients, at the same time exploring the needs of new customers," said Wang Yi-hui (王怡慧), a sales manager with Depo Auto Parts Industrial Co (帝寶工業), one of the nation's leading suppliers of automobile lighting products.

Though deals might not be sealed on the spot, the company expects to expand its client portfolio as more than half of the visiting customers to its booths were new ones, she said.

A total of 995 exhibitors displayed their wares at 2,301 booths at the exposition. TAITRA said it planned to further expand the exposition into a three-in-one show by incorporating the motorcycle industry show next year.

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