FIRST EDITION OF BUSWORLD TURKEY TURNED OUR TO BE A SUCCESS
After six editions of Busworld Turkey in the Expo fair in Istanbul, this was the very first edition in the Izmir. Izmir is third biggest city in Turkey with an ancient history and the most wonderful brand new exhibition centre.
The official opening was done by a number of officials, among them the mayor of Izmir mr. Aziz Kocaglu, president of TOF, the Turkish bus operators trade organization, Mustafa Yildrim, Head of Transportation Planning Department from Izmir's public transport company Eshot, Hakan Uzun Özet, Didier Ramoudt, President of Busworld International and Bekir Çakici, head of HKF Trade Fairs, responsible for the Busworld organization in Turkey. After the official cutting of the ribbon, the fair was officially opened in a shower of glittering papers.
Moving from Istanbul to Izmir
Although some people had been wondering about how this move from Istanbul to Izmir would effect the number of exhibitors and visitors, it was clear from the very first minute when the exhibition opened its doors that it was going to be a success. Buses kept stopping at the gate of the exhibition ground unloading their passengers for a visit to Busworld. In total 10,040 visitors from 107 countries visited the 115 exhibitors from eighteen countries. The exhibition had a net surface of 10,500 square metres, making it even a little bigger than the previous edition in Istanbul.
Another way to measure the success of the exhibition is the fact that actual business was being done: buses were sold and lots of business negociations were held, resulting in several contracts.
The biggest exhibitor was BMC, who is working on an impressive comeback after having disappeared from the bus industry for a couple of years. They had the largest (3,000 sqm) and also the most entertaining booth at the show with performances of a very lively Turkish dance group, a famous electric violin player and many more impressive acts. Every day there was a new surprise.
The Turkish manufacturers trade organization claims that the bus export industry is worth 1,15 billion USD. So in that perspective it makes sense that Busworld Turkey attracts lots of visitors and companies from abroad like the middle-east and other neighbouring countries such as Iraq and Iran. Many Turkish companies are indeed focusing on export, Otokar being one of them, as well as Güleryüz, Safkar and many others. Anadolu Isuzu for example is building a strong connection with Europe, especially France, exactly like what Otokar has been doing. International brands like Allison Transmission, ZF, Cummins, Fasching, Fogmaker, Hübner, etc. were also represented in the fair. One of the visitors was heard saying that it seemed like he was walking in a big one-stop-shop supermarket with a complete assortment to produce a bus.
Mapar, a MAN dealer in Turkey, showed many vehicles in its booth. They have a very specific second hand market activity: refurbishing MAN coaches into completely new models.
The minibus market also remains an important factor in the Turkish automotive business. Several minibus manufacturers were present: Bur-Can, Meydan Otomotiv etc.
Izmir, the city
Izmir is the capital of the province with the same name. Only fifteen years ago, there were 2.5 million inhabitants counted. Now in 2018 the city has grown to over four million people, according to officials. It is the third largest city in Turkey after Istanbul and Ankara. Its situation is ideal at the Gulf of Izmir in the western part of Turkey. With the second largest harbour in the country, an international airport and good train connections with other cities, Izmir’s importance has grown over the years. Izmir is also one of the older cities in Turkey with ancient traces dating back long before the years of the Roman empire. Now it has a strategic value as it hosts NATO's Allied Air Component Command Izmir.
Within the Busworld organization Busworld Academy plays an important role. Also during Busworld Turkey the conferences about the 'Future of Bus-Mobility' did not go unnoticed. There were interesting seminars about the e-bus and how to go about the procurement of these new and complicated systems, especially the infrastructure for charging equipment and supply of electricity. In 'Safety and technology in public buses' mr. Hakan Uzun Özet, from Izmir's Eshot explained what his company is doing about safety in buses.
“Once more Busworld Academy has proven to be the best networking event for representatives from international, national and local authorities and federations, public transport agents, bus and coach operators, manufacturers, suppliers and other experts and professionals, to share their knowledge and visions of the sector.”, Jan Deman, Director of Busworld Academy commented.
All the presentations, as well as the reports from the two day conference are published on the Busworld Academy website www.busworldacademy.org.
Next to the official Busworld Academy programme, the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Marine Affairs and Communications, organized 'Transportation, Electronic Tracking and Control Systems'.
It all added up to the goal Busworld Academy has set for itself: 'Acquire, bundle and share bus and coach related knowledge about all aspects of the industry, including technological developments to enhance sustainable mobility, summarized in three topics: Safety, Sustainability and Comfort'.
The Busworld organization can look back on a successful fair, as Busworld director Mieke Glorieux explained.
Didier Ramoudt, President of Busworld International concluded: ”Of course we are very happy with the results of the move from Istanbul to Izmir. Busworld Turkey turned out to be a good show for our customers: the exhibitors and the visitors. Making our customers happy is what it’s all about! When they are happy, so are we.”.