Shimano Europe is voting with its feet in an attempt to consolidate two or three European cycle shows into one. One or more shows will fold without the presence of such a dominant player. In a letter sent to Shimano customers, Frank Peiffer, MD of Shimano Europa GmbH, said:
We are afraid that several fairs will exist every year and that by this the representation of the bicycle industry as such, as well as the international aspect of the fair (that we feel to be very important for future development), will be damaged and lost without chance to recover.
It probably loses a lot in translation. Anyway, he goes on to give Shimanos demands:
Our basic requirements for such fair are very simple:
- show date around mid-September
- independent show-place and independent organising committee existing of exhibitors only
- chance for a good representation of the complete bicycle industry and trade in an international environment.
In order to avoid further developments in a wrong direction, Shimano (this includes our distributor in Germany, Paul Lange & Co) will exhibit at one of the autumn fairs only. It is not yet decided what fair well be going to, but well follow the decision of our customers in this matter.
This tough stance from Shimano which is either brave or bullying depending on your point of view no doubt concentrated minds at last Thursdays (28th October) meeting of industry bods in Munich deciding whether Messe Munich is a better option than the two existing shows.
This year there were two bike shows in Germany: Eurobike in Friedrichshafen and IFMA in Koln. Messe Munich is offering itself as a compromise candidate for the bike trade. The other two shows would have to be blacklegged.
Clearly, two shows so close together datewise, are not good for the industry. The Munich option could be an attractive one, especially now that Shimano has plumped for just one show.
Shimano appears to favour the Munich option because its stipulated preference for mid-September blows the two existing shows out of the water. Shimanos mid-September stipulation coincides with the existing Intermot show at Messe Munich, a motorbike trade fair held every two years, and launched in 1998.
This is scheduled for 13-17th September 2000. BikeBiz has talked with the UK representative of Intermot, Paul Evans of Pattern Ltd., who says Messe Munich dont want to start a bike show war: They want the industry to decide which show to go to, and if the industry wants Messe Munich then they will stage a show.
Intermot already has a gentlemans agreement with EICMA of Milan to alternate dates each year but there would be no hope of compromise with German exhibitions.
The meeting of 40 industry figures and Messe Munich was attended mainly by importers rather than manufacturers. Big players such as SRAM and Shimano were not present (although it is claimed that Messe Munich said at the meeting they had the backing of Shimano Europa and 17 other major companies which Shimano, and many of the other companies, deny).
No decision from Messe Munich on whether they will launch their compromise show has been released although Peter Knoll of the sports exhibition management team of Messe Munich told BikeBiz that one possible scenerio could be Munich staging a bicycle show one year, and Koln staging their show the next in an alternating arrangement.
Mess Koln, however, have said they will not countenance such an arrangent, dubbed by some industry players as the Munich solution.
Insider sources say that if Messe Munich did organise a bicycle show, it is probably not going to be attached to Intermot, and will have its own dates.
So far left neatly out of the equation by industry figures keen on the 'Munich solution' has been Eurobike yet the Friedrichshafen show is unlikely to go down without a fight, especially as it was deemed far more successful than this years Koln show.
Expect blood on the walls soon.