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A bigger international presence – February 12, 2007

The increasing role new Far East manufacturers are having on the industry will be evident at this year’s Dealer Expo.
Trevor Trumbo, the show manager for Dealer Expo, said the number of companies that will be showing at this year’s Chinese Pavilion has increased substantially. Trumbo said slightly more than 100 companies from China and Taiwan, mostly vehicle manufacturers, will be on display at the pavilion, about a 20 percent increase from last year.
Trumbo says it’ll be the second year the Expo will have a true Chinese Pavilion, where all the companies are based in a common location.
“A lot of attendees and even exhibitors told us that having everything grouped together in a pavilion format made it easy for them to shop, look at the different product offerings and have a chance to talk with each of the exhibitors,” Trumbo said.
There’s little doubt these new manufacturers that offer low-price vehicles are playing an ever increasing role in the industry. Powersports officials estimate that Chinese companies sold as many as 150,000 ATVs, built almost entirely with small-displacement engines, in the past year. If that number is accurate, that could be as much as 16 percent of the market share for quads.
Dealers are also slowly adding these new manufacturers to their product offerings, according to a national survey conducted for Powersports Business last spring. The survey of 400 dealers from across the nation showed overall a small number of dealers have added these nontraditional products. But that small number has tripled since 2003, the survey found.
Like last year, the Chinese Pavilion will open a day before the rest of the Dealer Expo, meaning attendees can see product Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. The pavilion won’t be open on Monday, but Trumbo said the exhibitors will be available for meetings that day.
Last year’s attendance total for the four-day show was 21,019, a less than 1 percent decrease from the previous year. The show’s attendance had increased an average of 6 percent per year for the previous 5 years.
“We’re always looking to improve our attendance numbers at the show,” Trumbo said.
To accomplish that this year, show organizer Advanstar decided to revamp its marketing materials that it sent out to dealers.
“We focused on the business reasons for attending the show: what do you get out of it and how will it help you achieve your business goals as a powersports dealer in the industry,” Trumbo said, noting 84 percent of the attendees are franchise or independent dealers or retailers.
More of that overall attendance reflects the worldwide nature of the industry.
Trumbo said last year was the first year Advanstar made a strong push to encourage attendance from international industry members. The company has continued that push this year. As a result, Trumbo expects the international attendance, which made up 26 percent of the attendees last year, to increase this year.
Something else that remains much like last year will be the event’s seminars. Expect largely the same cast of speakers, although Trumbo said each speaker will have a new topic this year. psb

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