Exhibition Hungary: Automotive cars, business and success

Author / Editor: Zsolt Meszaros, Editor in Chief, MM Muszaki Magazin / Rosemarie Stahl

Automotive Hungary, a Budapest-based exhibition of suppliers of the automotive industry, has been more successful than ever. Participants have held numerous fruitful talks in the forums held parallel to the exhibition.

This year's edition of the Automotive Hungary exhibition showed an increased interest of visitors.
This year's edition of the Automotive Hungary exhibition showed an increased interest of visitors.
(Photo: www.automotivexpo.hu)

Almost 9,000 guests, an increase of 10 per cent, visited the 4th Automotive Hungary and the parallel 25th Autotechnika exhibitions at Budapest Fair Center. The two exhibitions together showed a comprehensive picture of the present trends of the automotive industry, the directions of development, the possibilities of innovation and the status of workforce supply. On the four days of the exhibition. Beside the big car manufacturers of Hungary (Audi, Mercedes, Opel and Suzuki), companies who are prominent in their respective fields of competence such as AGC Glass, Weewatec, Bosch, Bridgestone, Continental, Duvenbeck, Fanuc, Flextronics, Kirchhoff, Knüppel and KUKA have participated as well.

According to Gábor Ganczer, MD of Hungexpo C. Co. Ltd., the enormous interest proves that Automotive Hungary has become the most significant automotive exhibition of the region by today. Ganczer emphasized that the industry is facing a change in technology. Manufacturing and fuel consumption are changing. Hungary is part of this change that could be felt by all who visited the exhibition.

Levente Magyar, undersecretary responsible for economic diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economy, announced at the opening ceremony that the Hungarian industrial output has risen by a third since 2010 and the automotive industry is still the most important sector, the export volume of which approached 20 billion Euros last year. The undersecretary acknowledged that today the challenge is, how the workplaces created in recent years can be filled. He added that the government supports this by targeted programs and regulation.

The trade has met up

Professional programs organized simultaneously to the exhibitions were met with great interest. A round table talk held on the first day was attended by the representatives of the biggest domestic manufacturers and suppliers. Participants of the talks were Peter Koessler, CEO of Audi Motor Hungaria ltd., Christian Wolff, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary ltd., Olivia Mesics, vice-CEO of Opel Szentgotthárd ltd., László Urbán, vice-chair of Magyar Suzuki Corporation, Marc Eckstein, CEO of Thyssenkrupp and Tünde Kiss, vice-chair of Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA). The participants all agreed that the greatest challenge facing the automotive industry is the lack of skilled workforce. It is a regional problem, but can be relieved by tax reduction, just as well as training, which has to be more emphasized. The automotive industry has performed better than ever in Hungary, as Audi and Opel have produced more than 2 million and 600,000 engines, respectively. Mercedes’ over 1 billion (HUF) investments may give further impetus to the automotive industry.

In light of the exhibition, Mihály Varga, seretary for national economy, brought to mind that the companies in the industry employ more than 144 thousand workers directly and have a joint price revenue in excess of 800 billion HUF annually. With this result, Hungary has become one of the centers of car manufacturing in Europe as in average 4 per cent of the added value is produced by this industry – said the department head.

Mihály Varga emphasised that the vehicles industry is about to go through a systematic transformation in the forthcoming decade, most important stimulant of which will be the solutions offered by digitalization, electromobility and industry 4.0.

On behalf of exhibitors, Attila Bagdi, head of marketing, Fanuc Magyarország Ltd. said: „ The automotive exhibition is an interesting amalgamation of automobile manufacturers, suppliers, workers and students, which is positive on one side, as the company reaches a broader audience, and negative on the other side as it has to find the important interessees in a greater „noise”. Having tuned our expectations to this, I think we have achieved what we went for.

Our services were not much in focus, the equipment on display was emphasized. Here, I would point at our collaborative robot that was first displayed in industrial use and that placed the spare wheel in the trunk of a yellow AUDI TT Roadster. This application demonstrated a possible use of the technology, where in the final assembly phase of the production line, where the robot works in an environment dominated by humans, and in their immediate proximity. This opens a new field in automation.

Techtogether, a competition for teams of university students, has been a colorful spot of the exhibition this year as well. Interesting lectures were going on continuously in the auditoriums. One more idea that I think would be worth considering is the organization of industrial round table talks, where experts of the given field can discuss the trends of the sector on the basis of different sets of questions.