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REVIEW Edition - IFA International 2017

  • Text
  • Berlin
  • Products
  • Global
  • Appliances
  • September
  • Audio
  • Innovations
  • Consumer
  • Markets
  • Platform

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IFA: The Industry Viewpoint Exclusive Interview with Hans Joachim Kamp, chairman of the gfu supervisory board IFA is run every year by Germany’s industry association – gfu – hand-in-hand with Messe Berlin. We asked Hans Joachim Kamp, chairman of the organisation’s supervisory board, how he felt this year’s show went. It has been more international than ever. A number of years ago, it was a German or a European trade show. Now, it is a good thing that the show has become totally international, as industry players spend millions in an attempt to get more orders and to be in contact with their international dealers, and this has been successful. Over 60% of the trade visitors this year were international, and that’s great. What is the innovation of the year? There’s not one single innovation; but there are more innovations than ever. In the consumer electronics sector, you now have the fight for picture quality between LED (eds: TFT) and OLED. I think it’s fascinating, and the feedback from the industry and the consumers is positive. Consequently, after several years of being in the doldrums, the TV market is picking up again. Other innovations are taking place in wearables, in speech recognition and voice control. These are new themes that will generate more turnover in the next months and years, so I am not only optimistic with what we have seen here, but also for the future of the entire market. If you look at the figures from the major manufacturers, several years ago they were in trouble. Since then, there have been cost-cutting measures, turnover has increased, freeing money for R&D. This will drive even more innovation, and innovation is a driver for turnover and positive market development. What are the key advantages of IFA for the industry? IFA not only takes place in the right city – at the right time, based on seasonal patterns, but more importantly, IFA is an order fair, and we estimate that this year will have seen a new record, at €4.7bn in orders taken at the show. If you’re not present here, you will see it in your books at the end of the year. The show is a fantastic cooperation between gfu on the one hand and the teams of Dr Christian Göke and Jens Heithecker on the other. What are the trends in terms of the kind of people that come to the show on the retail side? More and more big customers are bringing larger numbers of sales people to the show to see what they’ll be selling in the coming months. It’s a must for them to be here in addition to the key account managers. On all sides, there are advantages as a large number of meetings can be organised, which Hans Joachim Kamp Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH reduces travel costs in comparison to visiting everyone separately. IFA is the place where people finalise deals in preparation for the coming weeks and months, and more than 30% of turnover is done in the last three months. Messe Berlin two years ago created a new show in China. How important will this be as a platform for European manufacturers? I think the decision of Messe Berlin several years ago to into China with the CE China show was an absolutely excellent concept. It takes a bit of time, because if we look at the Chinese market, the most important players of the world tend to have very small market shares in that territory compared to everywhere else. So, building a platform the key manufacturers from around the world who want to increase their footprint in the Chinese market; for the Chinese dealers to get in contact with these international brands as we do it here at the IFA is a fantastic concept, even if it may take a little time OVER 60% OF THE TRADE VISITORS THIS YEAR WERE INTERNATIONAL, AND THAT’S GREAT. 16

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WE ARE VERY SATISFIED WITH THE LEVEL OF ORDERS TAKEN Harald Friedrich Managing Director, Bosch Home Appliances Harald Friedrich, Managing Director of Bosch Home Appliances, told IFA International the main focus of the company’s stand was about promoting a healthy, sustainable and relaxed lifestyle, as well as making tedious housework easier and more convenient. He tells us how the company presented itself at IFA… For the first time at IFA, Bosch showed its products in five everyday living spaces which represent the five main requirements of households: individuality, networking, healthy living, perfect results and simplification. Among the key product highlights were the Vario Style fridge-freezer, which is the first refrigerator in the world where consumers can change the door to suit their style. There are 19 attractive, modern colours to choose from. Bosch’s key theme at IFA 2017 was the development of a unique “household personality”. Can you explain this? Our consumers have a high awareness of quality, but their needs are above all quite different. While a healthy, sustainable and simplified lifestyle inform the priorities of a majority of consumers, these need also need to be expressed through individuality. This is Bosch’s promise of household personality. With our new products we want to foster this uniqueness and help to make everyday life of our consumers easier, safer and more successful. What were the hero products you launched at IFA? In a major change in our communication at IFA, it wasn’t about one hero product. It was all about holistic topics; one of them was about connectivity and a special feature this year was voice control which gained a lot of attention. We can steer quite a lot of our products with voice control in our portfolio. Across all product groups we are transferring top level features from our top series, like HomeProfessional Series 8 into Series 4 and 6. Two examples are iDos and Active Oxygen system and we are now introducing a new series of built-in ovens and built-in cookers. Bosch has been a strong supporter of IFA since white goods joined the fair in 2008. Can you tell us about this first decade at IFA? We have proven over the years that white goods are innovative and the attention of the media and press also showed that. When you look at the TV or you listen to the radio, white goods play a major role. How has IFA 2017 been for Bosch? For us it’s been an interesting and good fair. Personally, I’ve been here for seven years in my current role, and I must say it’s been the best fair because of the atmosphere that we had. Our trade partners were in a very positive mood – we had good conversations and good orders taken, which represented an increase on orders taken at IFA 2016. From this economic point of view we are very satisfied with the level of orders taken. Why does IFA remain the best trade show for electricals? IFA continually innovates itself – this year, for example, organisers launched IFA Next for start-ups. IFA is constantly developing – manufacturers make it a big event by presenting new innovations every year. We were very excited about IFA in the runup to the event as we changed the concept of our booth completely. For the first time this year, we didn’t show products in rows of products like we did in the past. We also mixed the categories – Bosch Backs 10 Years of White Goods at IFA The German brand showcases new products at IFA aimed at meeting the main requirements of modern households small domestic appliances and major domestic appliances – according to the five main trend topics. This concept proved to be very successful www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Friday 15 th September 2017 17

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