Organisers of next year’s EquipAuto aftermarket show in Paris are to unveil a raft of initiatives to tempt international exhibitors back to the French capital in a bid to regain numbers before the financial crash of 2007.

It is an indication of how deep the global recession has been that EquipAuto is still referring to the crisis of nearly a decade ago, but the 2017 management is confident its, unnamed, new show attractions will provide the carrot to bring overseas visitors back.

“To be honest, since 2007 we have lost ground on the international level because of the financial crisis, EquipAuto director, Mario Fiems told just-auto on the sidelines of this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show in the UK Midlands city of Birmingham. “There were difficulties to recover.

Now we have stabilised the international side of EquipAuto, but we are still lower than 2007. EquipAuto suffered more than any other show from the 2008 crisis and we have to find a way to differentiate the show more than anything else.

“We will survive – plus we are preparing new things for 2017. I can not make any announcements now because the information is under embargo, but I think the plan will be quite significant. We will announce that in early June.”

“The new president of FIEV [Jacques Mauge at the Fédération des Industries des Équipements pour Véhicules], which [is] the [EquipAuto] owner, will unveil the new strategy. The other player is the French Bodywork Federation.

“We want to let people understand EquipAuto is back in the race. Every two years people say: ‘It was a good show, but…’ Satisfaction rates are higher over the last years than they were between 2001 and 2007, exhibitor satisfaction, visitor satisfaction, but people continue to say: ‘Yes, but…’

 Last year’s show saw visitor numbers up 4% in comparison to 2013, with more than 95,000 professionals, including 25% from outside France, while 1,400 exhibitors took stands, including 60% from abroad.

“We have to admit although the results are not that bad, they [visitors] are not convinced so we have to modify this,” added Fiems. “It is our job to do that. We want to show the [exhibition] is renewing itself, taking into consideration changes in the industry. 

“Last year we had 20 start-ups exhibiting – we want to go further.”

Themes for next year’s show could include mobility, environment and connected cars.