Chinese manufacturers aren’t hopeful of the profits they have been used to till the recession ends."The recession, mainly in Europe and the US, has severely affected the Chinese auto component sector, with a sharp decline in the arrival of domestic and foreign buyers and trade visitors at the auto fair," Mandy Ling of the Guangdong Xin Tongshi Auto Radiator Co. Ltd. said.

In 2012, China remained the world's largest auto market and producer for the fourth consecutive year. Both sales and production were recorded at over 19 million units each, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturing (CAAM).

The biannual four-day "Automechanika" Shanghai trade exhibition, organized by Messe Frankfurt Co. Ltd. and the China National Automotive Industry International Corporation (CNAICO), began on December 10.

One of Asia's largest trade fairs for auto parts, accessories, equipment and services, the fair that entered its 10th year have 235 exhibitors. Traders from Europe were few this time but the response has been good from Russia and Ukraine, said Charlie Xin, sales representative of the Ridea Machinery Equipment Co. Ltd."The fair was good for us as we got some customers," he said.

The company participated in the fair for the first time. Earlier, it was doing online trading. Banya Wang, general manager of Zhejiang Ropas Radiator Co. Ltd., added, "We got a few customers, but their level has upgraded significantly."

The company with an annual turnover of USD 20 million largely exports auto cooling systems in Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, North America and Africa. Trade representatives said the US and Europe are the biggest markets for the Chinese accessories industry."Inquiries were good but business-wise it was not a bad fair," said Jane, international department manager with Zhejiang Haoyang Vehicle Parts Co. Ltd.

She said that the company has been participating in auto trade fairs in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, where response was good from domestic and international visitors. The exhibition also saw Indian delegations mainly from small and medium-sized businesses in Gujarat.

"Like India, most of the Chinese companies are passing through a bad phase. We have also not placed any major order owing to our weak currency (Indian rupee)," said Amit Shah, an importer of auto parts from Ahmedabad.

Most of India's auto parts makers prefer to sell most of their output by procuring it from the local market rather than depending upon imports owing to higher import costs. Zhang Xiaosheng, secretary general of the auto maintenance professional committee in Sichuan province, said, "Sichuan's auto sales are higher than other provinces. At the show, our delegates got the platform to see the developing automotive trends and to communicate with industry specialists."

Automechanika Shanghai is one of 13 Automechanika fairs held in Africa, Asia, Europe and Central and South America. More than 80,000 buyers and visitors from all over the world attended the fair, said event organizers.


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