The 24th Automech Formula automotive exhibition took place in Egypt from 20 to 23 September at the Cairo International Convention Centre.
Twenty-four companies participated in the exhibition to reveal their latest models, offers, and payment options, the managing director of Informa Egypt, Victoria Young, said during her interview with Daily News Egypt.
Can you tell us more about the Automech Formula exhibition?
Automech is the largest exhibition for the automotive industry in North Africa.
Art Line ACG-ITF and Informa organised it. I think the cooperation between these two companies led to the great success of the exhibition.
24 companies participated in the exhibition this year, which is expected to see over 300,000 visitors.
What are the names of the participating companies in Automech Formula this year?
Big names such as BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Subaru, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, MINI Cooper, Suzuki, Geely, BYD, Lada, Changan, BAIC, JAC, FAW Haima, Zotye, and Shineray, among others—in addition to the main sponsor, Shell Oil.
What was new about the exhibition this year?
We understand that buying a car by the general public in today’s economy is very difficult, so many of our visitors need financing in order to purchase the car they need. So we partnered with Elmobasher and QNB to make sure that people will have the chance to get the best deals and get the right package.
Moreover, the exhibition was more fun and innovative than ever with a wide range of entertainment activities for the whole family.
In addition, the biggest global brands brought the newest models to show, presenting some of the world’s finest engineering and state-of-the-art technology.
This year, we took a decision to separate Automech Formula from Autotech Formula.
Winning the confidence of global companies to showcase their new models is an impressive milestone. Can u give us an idea on how you achieved it?
It takes years to build up the level of trust the exhibitors have in Automech Formula.
Automech Formula’s success is due to its close relationships with car manufacturers throughout 23 years. We hold a meeting with the companies almost on a weekly basis to understand the marketing objectives and to try and help the companies in achieving these objectives.
Without the solid and trustful relationships between the exhibitors, and us as an organisers, we won’t have a successful exhibition.
Why did you take the decision of separating Automech and Autotech? In addition, can you tell us more about Autotech?
Autotech, which is for car spare parts, like tyres, will be in a standalone exhibition to be hosted in December. In addition, it makes more sense to separate both exhibitions since Automech is targeting consumers, while Autotech targets businesses.
This was a right decision because it allows shedding more light on cars as on a standalone Automech Formula 2017.
Why does Automech always choose Egypt as a base for this exhibition?
Egypt is the largest market in North Africa. It has a huge customer base and a large percentage of young people that are interested in the automotive sector.
Moreover, Automech Formula has been running successfully for over 20 years, so we will never change its base from Egypt. In the future, however, we might replicate the exhibition in other countries in Africa.
Is the economic and political stability in Egypt considered a factor in the Automech Formula’s success this year as the number went up to 24 global companies this year?
It is not a secret that the economic situation is different this year, especially for the automotive market, but the manufacturers still trust Automech as they know that it provides them with the best platform.
I feel that the economy is stabilising, so the exhibition will be larger next year, and those companies that did not participate this year will return in the next.
Global companies have some doubts about Egypt now due to their uncertainty with the economic and political situation in Egypt.
I expect growth in annual revenues to be about 10-15%.
What is your vision for exhibitions like Automech Formula in Egypt?
We currently have eight exhibitions in Egypt, and we want to duplicate this number within three years through the consumer exhibitions, such as Automech or through B2B exhibitions.
What exhibitions in the pipeline are to be held after Automech Formula in Egypt within 2017?
Later in the year, we will launch the debut exhibition of Autotech from 10-12 December.
We are looking forward to a very busy December that will include also organising Electricx and MEFSEC, which is the largest exhibition for the power and security industries in Africa and Next Move exhibition, part of Informa’s world-famous real estate group of exhibitions.
Are there any planned exhibitions in 2018?
Yes, we will organise Cityscape Egypt exhibitions in March 2018, while April 2018 includes three exhibitions: Africa Food Manufacturing, Mediconex, and Pharmaconex.
Do you intend to organise an exhibition for heavy industries in Egypt with the participation of international companies?
Informa Egypt has great experience in heavy industries, so it realised there are some gaps in those kinds of exhibitions in the Egyptian market, particularly in infrastructure, construction, and energy.
In the same context, Informa will study the market and will focus on these areas in the coming period.
Do you consider Egypt an attractive market for investors?
A lot of investments are injected to Egypt currently, especially after the government’s 2030 economic vision.
As we have a huge network from the consumers and companies that we work with, we are certain that they are interested to invest in the Egyptian market.
In your opinion, what does Egypt need to develop and attract more global companies and investors?
Egypt is going in the right direction, but it is still an emerging market in the exhibition industry.
I think the most important thing is to spread international awareness about the benefits of investing in the Egyptian market.
In the same context, Informa uses its global reach to attract more investors to Egypt.
Young has been in the exhibition industry for more than 12 years. She worked in most major exhibitions in China, USA, and Turkey—whether for a wide consumer audience or B2B exhibitions.
After that, she worked as a marketing director in Informa Company in Dubai for two years and then finally she came to Cairo in last July and became the managing director of Informa Egypt.