A record total of 821 exhibitors from 29 different countries. Companies are presenting 30 world premieres. 1600 guests attended the Opening Event in the Autostadt. “Southeast Asia is an important market for Volkswagen's growth strategy", explained Dr Werner Neubauer, Member of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen Brand and General Representative for ‘Group Components’, at this evening’s Opening Event of the 8th International Suppliers Fair (IZB).
“We want to increase our presence in the ASEAN region, more than before", Neubauer added. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is the partner region of the IZB 2014, which is taking place in Wolfsburg from 14th to 16th October. 821 exhibitors from 29 different countries are making the most of the leading trade fair for the automotive supplier industry to showcase the innovations of the automotive industry, which include around 30 world premieres announced by the exhibiting companies. Today, 1600 invited guests from Germany and abroad, including high-ranking representatives from the worlds of business and politics, attended the celebratory Opening Event of the IZB 2014 in the Autostadt Group Forum in Wolfsburg. The event patrons Stephan Weil, the Prime Minister of the German Federal State of Lower Saxony, and Klaus Mohrs, the Mayor of the City of Wolfsburg, together with Dr Werner Neubauer and other speakers at the Opening Event, officially opened the trade fair.
As the leading showcase event for the automotive supplier industry, the IZB and its programme of accompanying events such as specialist congresses, workshops and business meetings cover the entire automotive value chain. “The innovative power of automotive supplier companies plays an important role as a driving force behind the development of the entire vehicle industry. The trade fair acts as impressive proof of this fact, with exhibits ranging from innovations for production facilities and processes through to new materials and their efficient use and right through to solutions for the increasing networking of vehicles”, declared Julius von Ingelheim, the Spokesman of the Board of the company Wolfsburg AG, which has been organising the IZB since 2001.
The Partner Region ASEAN Is Represented by 50 Exhibitors
For the first time, 821 automotive suppliers from 29 different countries will showcase their products and innovations on an exhibition area covering a total of 36,000 square metres in the Allerpark in Wolfsburg. This number of exhibitors at this year’s event, which has already been fully booked for a year, represents an increase of six percent compared to the IZB 2012. The trade fair is not only impressive in terms of quantity, but also quality: Eight of the world's ten largest automotive supplier companies, including Robert Bosch GmbH, Continental AG, Denso and Magna International, are all represented at this year's IZB. “Every third exhibitor comes from outside of Germany. A multitude of international groups are also being represented by their sites in Germany", stated von Ingelheim, underlining the internationality of the IZB.
After China and India, the two leading economies in Asia, were the IZB partner countries in 2006 and 2008 respectively, this year's event welcomes the continent’s third largest ‘powerhouse’ and the world’s tenth-largest automotive market, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to Wolfsburg as the IZB partner region. ASEAN is a closely cooperating group of ten nations, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The region has become an extremely interesting market for automotive manufacturers in particular thanks to the increasing propensity to consume of its continuously growing middle class. Most of the around 50 companies from the ASEAN region involved in this year’s IZB are appearing at the event for the first time.
A Call for Quality and Sustainability
"From suppliers from the ASEAN region right through to our global partners, we expect the IZB to provide impetus for innovative and cost-effective solutions that will enable us to work together to make optimal use of market potential. Topics such as ‘sustainability in supplier relationships' and ‘quality in growth' are at the very top of the agenda and represent a shared challenge for Volkswagen and its partners", declared Dr Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, the Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG responsible for 'Procurement' and a patron of the IZB, in the run-up to the trade fair. After all, people and the environment are ultimately the most important resource of the automotive industry.
Stephan Weil, the Prime Minister of the German Federal State of Lower Saxony, additionally emphasised the importance of sustainability and innovations when it comes to securing natural elements of life and the competitiveness of companies on a long-term basis. He explained that modern vehicles are high-tech products, right down to the finest detail. New materials and technologies lead to reductions in weight and pollutant emissions, while digital innovations result in increased safety. The trade fair underlines the importance of Lower Saxony as an automotive location and the expertise of the companies based in the region, which also operate on a global level, declared Weil. As a patron of the IZB 2014, the Head of the Government of Lower Saxony stated that he expects the trade fair to provide important impetus for the further development of business relationships with extremely promising markets. Lower Saxony is being strongly represented at this year’s event in Wolfsburg by 80 exhibitors.
Securing Expertise and Tapping into New Markets
In his speech, Stephan Wolf, the Deputy Chairman of the General and Group Works Councils of Volkswagen AG, also focused on tapping into new markets: “Volkswagen is a global automotive company that has successfully established itself in many parts of the world. Against this background, the additional expansion of the company’s presence in the ASEAN economic zone is a matter of course. Company employees fully support Volkswagen's strategy of entering into fast-growing emerging markets which is now one of our company’s major strengths."
As a renowned gathering for the automotive industry, the International Suppliers Fair offers ideal conditions for establishing value-adding networks. This is also supported by the high proportion of trade visitors, who made up over 80 percent of the total number of visitors at the IZB 2012. Two thirds of exhibitors stated that their participation in the trade show helped them to generate orders and achieve an increase in sales. "This also, of course, generates added value in Wolfsburg and the surrounding region. Over the last 15 years, more than 170 supplier companies have relocated here. Wolfsburg is therefore delighted to welcome all exhibitors and visitors from all over the world to this year’s event”, declared Klaus Mohrs, the Mayor of Wolfsburg and patron of the IZB. He invited exhibitors and visitors to come and get to know the globally oriented and modern city of Wolfsburg even better.
At the end of the opening ceremony, the patrons of the event, Stephan Weil and Klaus Mohrs, officially opened the 8th International Suppliers Fair 2014 together with Dr Werner Neubauer, Stephan Wolf and Julius von Ingelheim. Over the next three days of the IZB, the event organisers expect to welcome tens of thousands of trade visitors from all over the world.