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Full Power(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 01,2008)

HK Int'l Auto Parts & Accessories Fair

An up-and-coming trade event in the automotive parts world IS quickly becoming An unmissable date for buyers and suppliers

In just two years, the Hong Kong International Auto Parts & Accessories Fair has become a not-to-be-missed calendar date for industry players.

Further reaffirming Hong Kong's position as an important industry sourcing hub, the next edition of this popular event is from April 28 to May 1 at the AsiaWorld-Expo. The upcoming event also promises to be even more comprehensive and vital than its previous editions.

The Auto Parts & Accessories Fair is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), in conjunction with Paper Communication Exhibition Services and the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association Ltd.

Looking ahead to optimistic results is Surface Mount Technology (Holdings) Ltd (SMT), which is set to showcase its array of electronic auto parts, including telematics and body electronics for automobiles.

"As electronic-controlled parts and accessories play an increasingly important role in today's automobile industry, and given the fact that the Chinese mainland's automobile industry is becoming a major global influence, we believe the fair is an effective platform to expand our business," says Lawrence Chan, Senior Manager Corporate Development for SMT.

"We have witnessed how this fair has grown in the past two years," he adds. "One of the benefits of taking part in an emerging fair is that our presence becomes more prominent, whereas it is easy to be almost insignificant among an ocean of exhibitors and participants at some mega international fairs. So we are ready to grow together with this up-and-coming regional event."

With three decades of experience in the auto accessories sector, Walser Asia Pacific Ltd offers a myriad of car seat covers, car carpets and other protection and safety items.

A first-time exhibitor at the coming fair, the company aspires to ride on the rising tide of popularity for the event to expand its current market range from Europe to North America.

"We are renowned for our quality, and our best known innovation is our patented seat cover - the Walser ClixIII Side Impact Air Bags design," says Assistant Sales Manager Jess Poon.

"We have yet another new product, the Aero-Tex seat cover, which will be promoted at the upcoming fair," she adds. "It is very likely that it, too, will become another hot seller."

Another firm, Nikko Kougyo Co Ltd, offers a profusion of car filters. The firm is ready to show off its new range of products at the upcoming fair and to further explore world market opportunities.

"We keep innovating new designs to match new car models in the market, and we are now at a terrific stage where we can showcase our creative efforts," says Manager Vivian Kwok.

"We look forward to meeting global buyers at the event, especially as we are looking at ways to expand our activities throughout Asia and explore new opportunities in Europe."

The previous fair drew a total of 263 exhibitors from 15 countries and regions, as well as 6,523 trade visitors from 108 countries and regions, which represented a significant growth of 50% over the debut fair.

"We are really glad to see this fair growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to the support of participants who see it as a launching pad for expanding into international markets in addition to tracking trends," says TDC Senior Exhibitions Manager Anne Chick.

She says the presence of international participants also underlines the global nature of the event. "The Auto Parts & Accessories Fair has become a gateway to North America and Europe, in particular," Ms Chick says.

"Visitors can tap into the tremendous potential offered by the Chinese mainland and other Asian countries, as well as establish footholds in the Western auto sector," she adds.

The auto parts fair also benefits from riding on the coat-tails of Hong Kong's increasingly important role in the global automobile supply chain. "It is encouraging to see demand for auto parts and accessories having escalated on a regional and global scale," Ms Chick says.

It is also notable that vehicle ownership figures on the Chinese mainland, which reached 33 million cars in 2006, are expected to rise to some 56 million automobiles by 2010.

Meanwhile, European and the US automotive after-markets are inflating: in 2006, for example, imports of auto parts and accessories reached US$256bn in the EU and US$89bn in the US.

"These figures imply that the fair is also running at full throttle in order to cater to these buoyant industry trends," says Ms Chick.

"Empowered by the introduction of more specialised exhibit categories, particularly in the auto accessories sector, plus the Conference of Automotive and Auto Parts and the Open Forum, the event will once again be a sourcing and information collection success," she adds.

Apart from the welcome return of the Techno Zone and the Motorcycle Zone, new product categories under the spotlight will encompass antitheft devices, tracking devices, safety products and accessories, audio and related products, car gadgets, car vacuum cleaners, design enhance-ments and interior enhancements.