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In Top Gear(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 02,2007)

Hong Kong International Auto Parts Fair




The second Hong Kong International Auto Parts Fair is anticipated to prove another bustling marketplace for the automobile industry when close to 300 international exhibitors show off their latest products and services at the AsiaWorld-Expo site at Hong Kong International Airport from April 28 to May 1.

One firm especially looking to benefit from the fair this year is Surface Mount Technology (Holdings) Ltd (SMT), which reprises its attendance at the 2006 debut event.

SMT is one of the largest electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers on the southern Chinese mainland, and among its myriad of electronics components produced for various industries, automotive electronics generates more than 20% of the company's sales revenue.

"Like every industry, we need a stage to showcase our state-of-the-art technology, meet existing and potential customers, and explore new market dimensions together," says SMT's chairman Professor K.B. Chan, who is also the chairman of Group 27 (Automobile components) under the Federation of Hong Kong Industries.

"We are really happy now that this valuable platform is available," he says.

"With a vibrant mainland automobile industry, this fair will definitely boost interest and demand in the region and at the same time help establish Hong Kong as the trading hub for auto parts and accessories."

Chan states that this year SMT will display some of its newest innovations and promote a new capability empowered by new factories in Changchun and Tianjin. "These plants are in addition to our three operations in Dongguan and Suzhou," he advises.

Another second-time participant is Bestcom Ltd, which exports a wide array of auto parts and accessories to North and South America. "We received very positive feedback from buyers last year, and at the upcoming fair we will be showcasing our latest auto parts with designs all tailored to fit the newest automobile models for 2007," says manager Vincent Tsang.

"Attracted by the prospective outlook of the auto parts manufacturing sector in the region, we established Bestcom just three years ago," he adds, "and we are really glad that Hong Kong now has its own platform for the industry. It is a very timely marketing platform for us."

Meanwhile, looking to draw attention to its newest models of grille guards, anti-sway bars, step bars, luggage racks, and roll cages at the coming fair is Wilson Auto Engineering Ltd, which specialises in high performance exhaust systems design and manufacturing.

"Among other overseas fairs, we have also chosen to illustrate our strengths here for the second time," states sales manager Phoebe Choi.

"We are renowned for our quality materials and great craftsmanship, which are welcomed by buyers in Hong Kong as well as in the US and Europe."

She reveals that in May, Wilson will move from its present Shenzhen factory to a larger facility in Foshan, Guangdong Province. Promising a more robust production capacity, Choi adds, "We also plan to establish more contacts and acquire more business at the fair this year, and we are positive about our prospects as the results from last year were highly rewarding."

These exhibitors will share the spotlight with enthusiastic participants from Hong Kong, Australia, Belgium, the Chinese mainland, France, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the US.

"The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) initiated this event to ride on the strong wave that sees Hong Kong playing an increasingly important role in the global automobile supply chain," states TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick. "We see this trend further consolidating, notably spurred by the burgeoning automobile market in the mainland."

She notes that in 2006, Hong Kong exported US$1.4bn worth of auto parts and accessories to world markets, with the Chinese mainland, the US and Japan ranking as its top three destinations.

"At the debut event last year, we saw 254 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, including automobile manufacturers and auto parts and accessories suppliers," she adds. "Among the 4,339 visitors from 80 countries and regions were those from repair and maintenance centres, retail outlets and DIY stores."

Although only in its second year, the fair is already expanding in scope, with three brand new sectors joining the ranks.

"The Accessories and Specialty Equip-ment Zone caters to the growing interest in performance, racing, modification and customisation products," Chick elaborates.

"Meanwhile, the Motorcycle Zone will be a sourcing haven for motorcycle parts, and the OEM Procurement Square allows major car manufacturers and first-tier suppliers to converge in an easy-to-reach platform."

The upcoming fair is also an information-packed event featuring the 2007 International Conference for the Asia Pacific Automotive Industry, with industry experts sharing their knowledge on technologies, trends and market developments.

"Topics cover the latest in automotive electronic and vehicle system integration, vehicle safety technology, as well as green vehicle and green manufacturing," Chick says. "Meanwhile, the International Auto Parts Industry Forum, and a series of industry seminars and research present-ations are also expected to draw crowds."

The auto parts fair is organised by the TDC in conjunction with Paper Communication Exhibition Services and the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association Ltd.