The tire business is undergoing a transformation. Companies in the tire industry are having to respond to the burgeoning requirements of the global automotive industry by constantly developing increasing numbers of high tech products within an ever shorter time span and getting them ready for market. Product life cycles are shrinking, country-specific legislation poses problems for global development, production and sales strategies. Sales markets, some of which – especially in Europe – are shrinking, are facing competition from new entrants whereas in other parts of the world new markets are emerging, which have to be exploited quickly if suppliers are not to miss the boat.
But structural change is not just shaping the industry: the tire and wheel aftermarket is also facing increasing demands to adapt to the constantly changing market environment. Increasing product diversity does indeed require more advice but also greater investment in technical skills, the quality of the advice, inventories and logistics. Innovative product attributes and new statutory regulations also impact proven work processes and existing factory equipment; examples of this are the special requirements on fitting UHP and run-flat tires as well as the mandatory requirement recently introduced throughout Europe for tire pressure monitoring systems for new vehicles. And an increasingly digital world is revolutionising consumers' communication, information and purchase behaviour; a megatrend for which aspiring successful market players must have the right answers at the right time.
“You can attract customers on price, win them with marketing but only retain them through innovation” is how German chemist Professor Hans-Jürgen Quadbeek-Seeger, a member of the German Bundestag's Committee of Inquiry on Gene Technology, sums up the recipe for success in a changing world. But innovation needs inspiration and depends for its very existence on new ideas, pioneering concepts and an exchange of ideas and opinions. Where better can all this be found than on the global platform that is the industry's new international trade fair, THE TIRE COLOGNE?
“THE TIRE COLOGNE is the starting gun for the innovative tire industry” says Peter Hülzer, Executive Chairman of the German Association of Tire Dealers and Vulcanizing Trades (BRV e.V., Bonn). With its large membership, the trade association acts as the ideational and professional sponsor of Cologne's new trade fair. “We are convinced that Koelnmesse is an ideal environment for the leading global trade fair of a forward-looking industry whose intelligent high-tech products and services make a critical contribution to ensuring society remains mobile!”