MEXICO CITY — The 17th edition of PAACE Automechanika Mexico City had a post-show twist.
The event was staged this year by Messe Frankfurt North America in July with the support of the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA), Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), among others, but not — for the fifth year running — Mexico's suppliers association INA, , whose full title is Asociación Nacional de Autopartes AC.
INA and Messe Frankfurt said they have put aside their differences and will, according to the Mexican association's top executive, work together for the first time in six years at the 2016 edition of the show and beyond.
“Yes, we are going to be equal partners for future years (sic),” Oscar Albín, INA's executive president, wrote in an emailed response to an inquiry by Tire Business. “We consider that Mexico deserves a large auto show, very representative, and going together is the way to have it.”
According to Messe Frankfurt and INA public relations sources, the two organizations parted company in 2009 because some influential INA members, citing cases of alleged piracy, objected to the strong presence of Chinese exhibitors at the exhibition, which was first held in Mexico in 1999. Mexico is a fierce exporting competitor of China.
“It would make sense if INA and AutoMechanika joined forces, and we are working on that,” Michael Johannes, a Frankfurt am Main-based Messe Frankfurt vice president, told Tire Business at this year's event.
“I think we can add much more to the show (with INA's presence), especially to the repair maintenance side. It would be good for the Mexican aftermarket industry.”
However, he flew out of Mexico without saying whether a deal had been reached with INA and he did not respond to two emails from Tire Business asking for clarification of his talks with the Mexico City-based INA.
Xavier Milán, a salesman with Messe Frankfurt Mexico, told Tire Business by telephone Aug. 6 that the company he works for will have INA as a strategic partner for the 2016 show, to be held from April 13-15, although he added that some contractual details were still being put to paper. The INA public relations source responded to an email from Tire Business with the words: “ExpoINA and PAACE have reunited.”
“We are not the show management company of ExpoINA any more so we can't comment on their show,” Sergio Nogueira — a partner in Barrera y Nogueira Exposiciones, which has organized the ExpoINA show since 2010 — told Tire Business in an email. That show was held this year in April.
However, another senior executive close to ExpoINA who wished to remain anonymous told Tire Business that negotiations involving INA, Messe Frankfurt and Barrera y Nogueira are ongoing and he said that Barrera y Nogueira, as well as the ExpoINA name, could be retained.
This year's PAACE Automechanike show covered 215,300 square feet of the Centro Banamex, featured 470 exhibitors from 25 countries and had 120 customized classic cars on display. Tire makers and dealers were conspicuous by their absence. Asked for the official attendance, Mr. Milán said the figures were still being audited and certified.
Mr. Johannes said that 65 specialist seminars were also held during the week of the exhibition.
“We're very happy with the show,” Mr. Johannes said. “I think we're on a good track and have several ideas to improve the show next year. We are quite confident about the Mexican aftermarket.”
But he described the market as “very much fragmented. There's a lot of business in Monterrey, the Federal District (of Mexico City) and Guadalajara, but companies keep to their own regions. We would like to bring INA and PAACE together for the benefit of the whole industry…. There's huge potential in Mexico.”
Stephen Downer is a Mexico-based freelance writer who covers that country and Latin America for Tire Business and its Latin America e-newsletter.
For a photo gallery from this year's PAACE Automechanika Mexico City show, click here.