Brazilian and Argentine companies are seeing competition from China as expo continues to grow.
On August 12-13, Centro de Exposicões Imigrantes in São Paulo, Brazil, hosted the fifth iteration of the show dedicated to the vertical-transportation industry in South America. It brought together more exhibitors that showcased up-to-date products in attractive booths. The 6,000 attendees were mainly Brazilians, followed by Argentineans and others coming from Latin America, Europe and China.
Cardoso Almeida Eventos was the organizer of the fifth Expoelevador, a show Edilberto Almeida and his Editora World Press quietly started in 2006. Repeat attendees have seen it grow year after year. This year, many of the 126 booths were bigger, featured high-quality decoration and showed a wide product collection. The exhibitors were mostly Brazilian independent companies, and all were elevator manufacturers, component manufacturers or suppliers.
Expoelevador was held in two days, instead of three. Some believed it was a good idea to shorten it, but others missed the trio of days that provided more time and opportunities to meet people and discuss business. However, as there was no opening ceremony, nor parallel activities related to vertical transportation, your reporter feels there was enough time allotted.
The participation of Chinese companies was remarkable. Their booths followed the usual style: the most important had spacious, luxurious booths, and the smaller ones showcased their products in standard, similar booths organized in long rows. Their emphasis on looking for new markets is aided by the fact that they do not need a visa to travel to Brazil. This is an advantage to Chinese visitors, as it is not always the case for Europeans.
The marketing of Chinese products in Latin America is a fact that cannot be ignored or prevented. It must be addressed with more production, and better quality and prices.
Cámara de Ascensores y Afines de la República Argentina (CAA) was present with its magazine, Subir & Bajar, as always. This year, CAA’s news was the divulgation of its association with ELEVATOR WORLD for a better reach in Latin American countries and others in which Spanish is spoken (EW, February 2014).
The Argentine elevator and component manufacturers grouped in Cámara Argentina de Fabricantes de Ascensores y sus Componentes occupied either sides of an aisle sponsored by the Argentine National Government and its ExportAR Foundation. In 2014, Instituto Tecnológico para el Estudio y Enseñanza del Ascensor – a new institute dedicated to teach elevator technology – also had a place along the aisle.
It is important to point out the quality and variety of products showcased by the Argentine companies that prove the strength of the elevator industry in that country. Some are exploring the Brazilian market and other Latin American countries. Specifically, Ascensores Servas SA, Coelpla Sudamericana SA and Wittur SA presented new products in booths of their own. The others in the Argentine aisle were E. Company SA, CF Control SRL, Famac SRL, Mizzau SA, Matricería H.A, Wilcox and ADSUR SA.
The independent elevator companies based in Argentina and Brazil joined efforts in 2013 as the Asociación de Elevadores del Mercosur (AEM) to compete more favorably with multinational and Chinese companies. They feel this defends the industrialization and interests of the Mercosur commercial block. AEM felt Expoelevador was an appropriate venue to present AEM to the Brazilian/Argentine elevator community.
Brazilian entrepreneur Fabio Becker Aranha pointed out that Brazilian vertical-transportation companies can learn very much from their Argentine counterparts due to the many independent Argentine companies. Even though Brazil is a bigger market, there is a great concentration of multinational companies in the sector. Aranha appreciated the quality and long history of the Argentine elevator associations. He also announced the opening of the website www.ascensoresmercosur.org, which is in both Spanish and Portuguese.
Rafael Cala, the Argentine AEM representative, was very satisfied with the show and explained that the associate companies in AEM try to protect elevator-industry manufacturers against the unfair competition of other countries where the sector might be subsidized.
Thanks to the good results of Expoelevador 2014, it is expected the exhibition will continue to make headway.
The Watercolor That Is Brazil
Brazil, as described in João Gilberto’s famous song “Aquarela do Brasil (Brazilian Watercolor),” is a colorful palette of landscapes, people and culture. Brazil has become a rich, progressive country in the past few years and is a member of the BRICS bloc, along with Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The Portuguese fleet arrived in Brazil in 1500, and after several centuries had gone by, Juan VI of Portugal raised the Portuguese colony to the status of a sovereign kingdom unified with Portugal. His son, Emperor Dom Pedro I, declared the country’s independence on September 7, 1822, being appointed first emperor of Brazil. The slave trade was essential for the economy until it was totally abolished in 1888.
The country has a large lower class and the powerful fazendeiros (land owners), with rather small areas for agriculture and untapped natural resources. Its long-term economic guidelines are based on biotechnological development that achieves double harvests in areas with a hostile climate, the support of hard science and cutting-edge technology, social programs, mining and oil-field exploitation. These have contributed to the sustained increase of the middle class and an increase in overall welfare. However, there is much to be done for Brazil’s 200-million-plus inhabitants.
As for the vertical-transportation industry, Brazil had powerful national elevator companies during the 20th century, Ascensores Atlas and Ascensores Sûr dominating the market. But, in 1999, both companies were acquired by the multinational Schindler and ThyssenKrupp, respectively, turning the market upside down. Now, with the revival of independent elevator companies, Brazil looks to Argentina to learn from its elevator sector.