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Bauma 2010 Seen as Turning Point for Construction Industry

Tue April 27, 2010 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Bauma 2010 has marked a turnaround in the international construction machinery industry, ushering in the hoped-for change in sentiment, according to Bauma officials. And this was despite the ban on air travel, which impacted on the first few days of the fair.

“The mood in the industry shows that in Europe the bottom of the cycle is now behind us,” said Ralf Wezel, secretary-general of CECE, the Committee for European Construction Equipment. “Confidence has returned. Of course at the start of the fair the exhibitors felt the lack of many customers from Asia and America — but in the second half of Bauma, this improved considerably. Messe München’s crisis management in the days impacted by volcanic ash was outstanding.”

In doing so, he confirmed the expectations of the sector as outlined by Christof Kemmann, chairman of the VDMA Construction Equipment and Building Materials Machinery Industry Association, at the Main Press Conference for Bauma 2010 on the first day of the fair.

Although the ban on air travel in Europe prevented visitors — and in the end approximately 50 exhibitors from overseas — from coming to the fair, the mood at the venue among the approximately 3,150 registered exhibitors from 53 countries was good by the close of the fair.

Already by the midway point of the fair, a number of exhibitors were reporting more sales than they had expected.

“The good old times are coming back: the figures for sales taken at the fair far exceed our expectations. We reckon we will be able to match the volume we took at the record Bauma in 2007. This is a clear signal that at Zeppelin-Cat, too, business is moving forward again after the difficult year of 2009,” said Michael Heidemann, managing director of Zeppelin and CEO of Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH, Germany.

Michikazu Okada, vice-president of Hitachi Sumitomo Heavy Industries Construction Crane Co. Ltd., Japan, added, “We had a lot of new business opportunities, some of which already resulted in unexpected conclusions of sale.”

The representative survey of exhibitors conducted by TNS Infratest showed that Bauma 2010 is marking a change in mood following a year of crisis in 2009, and that this change was being felt in many international markets, with few exceptions. Almost half the exhibitors are expecting the economic situation to improve.

Even before the fair started, it was evident that worldwide the sector was optimistic. Bauma had 663,774 sq. yds. (555,000 sq m) of space, all fully booked, and saw 60 percent of the exhibitors coming from outside Germany. The fair registered new all-time highs for the overall number of exhibitors, international participation and space booked.

From China, India and Turkey, in particular, exhibitor numbers were up strongly on the previous event.

“Bauma is the Mecca for construction equipment. Though the volcano shaded Europe it is fascinating to see so many visitors from all over the world here,” said Cuneyt Divris, president of the Imder, Construction Equipment Distributors & Manufacturers Association of Turkey.

Nevertheless, the general economic situation ahead of Bauma and the unexpected ban on air travel at the start of the fair did impact the final figures for visitor numbers: More than 415,000 visitors from more than 200 countries attended Bauma 2010. In comparison to Bauma 2007, this was 17 percent fewer (65 percent of the visitors came from Germany, 35 percent traveled from countries outside Germany.)

“Despite the many emergency measures implemented by Messe München, in cooperation with its employees in Munich and the international sales and association partners, in the second half of the running time — which sees more visitors — not all of the expected visitors from Asia, India and America were able to get to Bauma in Munich,” said Klaus Dittrich, chairman & CEO of Messe München GmbH. “However, because of the turnaround which Bauma 2010 has ushered in for the sector worldwide, we are looking forward optimistically to the already fully booked Bauma China 2010 in Shanghai. Interest in the new event bC India 2011 in Mumbai, too, has led to a considerable expansion in the space originally earmarked for the event. For many of the key players who were represented at the leading world fair Bauma, these events will offer international platforms in the two growth markets of China and India, and thus appeal also to the trade visitors who this time were not able to come to Munich,”

Bauma showcased a wealth of innovations. “Never before have there been so many innovations on display in terms of sustainability and environmental and human protection. Despite the economic crisis and the ash cloud, Bauma remains the uncontested Number One,” said Reinhold Festge, managing partner, Haver & Boecker, Germany.

Some of the events in the Bauma Forum, which particularly in the first two days of Bauma 2010 had included many specials about the partner country of India, had to be cancelled or re-staffed. Forty-four lectures and events were able to take place as scheduled from the third day onwards. The country specials in the Bauma Forum were organized in cooperation with the VDMA e.V., Germany’s engineering federation, which is the conceptual sponsor of Bauma.

The 30th Bauma, International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment, will take place as planned from April 15 to 21, 2013 in Munich.

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