15/4/10 – Brave Face for Bauma as Volcanic Ash Casts Cloud Over Visitor Numbers

15 April 2010

Organisers of the construction industry’s major exhibition, Bauma 2010 remained upbeat about the prospects for the sector despite the toll of the Iceland volcanic eruption on visitor and exhibitor numbers. Fifty exhibitors couldn’t make the event and total visitor numbers were down by 17% on the last time the exhibition was held in 2007.

However, morethan 415,000 visitors fromover 200 countries did get to Bauma 2010 of which 65 percent of the visitors came from Germany, 35 percent travelled from countries outside Germany.According to Ralf Wezel, Secretary-General of CECE, the Committee for European Construction Equipment, "The mood in the industry shows that in Europe the bottom of the cycle is now behind us. 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."

A number of exhibitors had reported 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," noted 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 also said, "We had a lot of new business opportunities some of which already resulted in unexpected conclusions of sale."

In total 555,000 square metres of space were booked, and 60 percent of the exhibitors came from outside Germany. According to the events organizers the fair registered strong participation from China, India and Turkey compared to 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.

The organisers are now optimistic about the success oftwo planned sister eventsbauma China 2010 in Shanghai and the new event bC India 2011 in Mumbai. China 2010 is already fully booked and the bC India 2011 has expanded the space originally earmarked for the event.

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

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Elaine McClarence

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