You are here
Home > Headlines > Strong early support for 2019 Futuroad Truck and Bus Expo

Strong early support for 2019 Futuroad Truck and Bus Expo

Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, 18-21 September 2019  – Messe Frankfurt South Africa, the organisers of the Futuroad Expo, is already receiving strong support from the commercial vehicle industry for SA’s premier truck and bus show.  This event will be held at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, from September 18-21 2019. This biennial event will be co-located with the sixth edition of Automechanika Johannesburg, Africa’s largest trade fair for the automotive aftermarket.

The Futuroad Expo, the most comprehensive business platform for the truck, bus and commercial vehicle sector in the African continent

Futuroad, which is taking place for the second time in SA, is the only international trade fair of its kind to be staged on the African continent and targets a visitor audience from across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“In 2017 we started road shows into Africa to promote the event and attract visitors to the show.  As a result of these, we had an 80% increase in African visitor attendance to the show, with many of our Futuroad exhibitors commenting that they made sales to this audience, during the event”, says Joshua Low, Group Exhibitions Director for Messe Frankfurt SA. 

“Based on the success of these we are increasing the number of countries for our road show, from 4, to 7 countries in 2019.  These include: Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.  We decided on these countries, based on preliminary feedback received from our exhibitors”, adds Low.

This makes Futuroad the ideal platform for exhibitors to grow their business footprint, particularly as government and the large commercial vehicle companies are targeting increased automotive exports to grow the local economy, especially into Africa.

Scania truck with models

Road transport is the lifeblood of South Africa, despite government efforts to shift more freight from road to rail. Currently road transport moves more than double the amount of freight that goes by rail.

The truck market in South Africa has been bucking the trend in terms of vehicle sales in 2018, with sales up 3.3% year-to-date after the first 10 months of the year. The truck and bus sales forecast for the year has now moved up to 26 000 units, at a time when the country is in an official recession. The forecast at the beginning of the year was 25 400 units.

This means that truck and bus operators are buying vehicles to renew their fleets despite the gloomy economic environment

The Futuroad Expo will thus be an ideal opportunity for these fleet operators to compare the various makes and models of trucks and buses at a single venue over a period of four days.

“We received excellent feedback from our exhibitors who participated at Futuroad expo 2017 and, as a result, we already sold more space than we did in 2017 with brands such as Volvo, UD FAW, Tata, Eicher, Powerstar and MCV Buses already signed for the event.  Adding to this, we have commitment from some of the other major players in the industry, with an additional 4 800 sqm in space committed for the show”, says Low.

The first Futuroad Expo, staged in 2017, saw the launch of several new models and a number of companies are expected to use the show to expose new products next year too.

Future road expo (fuel)

Last year Hino, Tata, Powerstar and newcomer Eicher unveiled new models, while FAW used Futuroad to preview an upcoming truck tractor derivative

Last year Hino, Tata, Powerstar and newcomer Eicher unveiled new models, while FAW used Futuroad to preview an upcoming truck tractor derivative. Other brands that displayed vehicles at the 2017 Expo were Scania and MAN. MCV, a truck and bus coachbuilder, had an indoor display while a host of body builders had impressive displays in the outside exhibition areas.

Messe Frankfurt, which organises Futuroad through its South African-subsidiary, is very aware of the importance of trucks and buses to the global transport industry and is putting increasing focus on products and services for these vehicle types at its Automechanika aftermarket trade fairs which are staged worldwide.

tata racing truck

Automechanika uses its Truck Competence sub-brand to identify manufacturers and service providers to the truck and bus industry at its trade fairs. More than 1 000 companies showcased products on stands displaying the orange Truck Competence logo at Automechanika Frankfurt earlier this year. This involvement included the first Truck Competence Symposium which focussed on Trends in Commercial Vehicle Service.

Futuroad panorama

“Not only do we have a very extensive marketing campaign planned, with a research team based in the office looking for new visitor data that we can invite to the show, we are also planning some exciting experiential content and we already have the verbal commitment from SABOA (South African Bus Operators Association) and the RFA (Road Freight Association) to run conferences alongside the show.  Lastly, we are planning a number of skills development workshops to help uplift the industry and broaden the appeal of the show”, finishes Low.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa