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Final Report ALUMINIUM 2016: The lightweight route to success

01 December 2016
Mit Leichtigkeit zum Erfolg | Abschlussbericht 2016: Mit Leichtigkeit zum Erfolg

Abschlussbericht 2016: Mit Leichtigkeit zum Erfolg

Larger, more international, more professionally accomplished: ALUMINIUM broke records again across disciplines. Six per cent more exhibitors, two percent more visitors and a 65 per cent increase in internationality make it abundantly clear that the potential of and outlook for lightweight solutions is still growing immensely. A total of 992 exhibitors from 58 nations and 24,748 trade visitors came to the world’s largest industry trade fair in Düsseldorf. “With that, ALUMINIUM is among a select group of industry shows that grow from event to event”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO Reed Exhibitions Deutschland, the organiser of ALUMINIUM. Since the debut event in 1997, the number of exhibiting companies has jumped nearly fivefold; the number of visitors quadrupled.

Light but also hard, corrosion-resistant and easy to recycle. Those are the four properties that promise such a bright future for “white gold”. Whether it’s in the automotive industry, aeronautics or construction, “Mobility, lightweight construction and resource efficiency – global megatrends are the forces that drive expanding demand for aluminium”, says Christian Wellner, managing member of the executive committee of GDA, the German Confederation of the Aluminium Industry.

Experts forecast worldwide demand to increase from just under 60 to 70 million tonnes by 2020. “This demand occurs mostly in the transport sector, where demand for aluminium will go up by six per cent in 2016. Low-CO2 mobility is an important component of Europe’s strategy for a sustainable economy – and aluminium is part of the solution”, says Gerd Götz, the director general of the European industry association EA. At 140 kg, the average amount of aluminium that goes into each car built in Europe has tripled since just 20 years ago. At 160 kg, that share is even higher in the US.

“Lightweight construction is a key technology of the future that’s making a critical contribution to the modernisation of industry. Electro-mobility, for example, is inconceivable without lightweight engineering”, says Iris Gleicke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

This boost in demand was noticeable at ALUMINIUM, impacting both the overall mood and the deal-making. A representative survey on the economy conducted for the trade fair confirmed this point. More than 60 per cent of the over 500 responding companies expect demand to increase further; 27 per cent expect sales to remain flat; only 6 per cent fear a slightly weakening performance in the medium term.

Many companies list high trade barriers and access to markets and raw materials as the biggest challenges. The globalisation of markets has reached the aluminium industry, bringing new structures and a global division of labour into the international value chain – a development that was clearly reflected at ALUMINIUM.

Two thirds of exhibitors – 649 altogether – travelled to ALUMINIUM in Düsseldorf from outside Germany. Germany (354) tops the list of 58 represented nations, followed by the second-strongest exhibitor nation Italy (116), China (90), Turkey (67) and Spain (29); the Netherlands and the UK tied for 6th (28 each). Strong contingents also hailed from the US (23) and Canada (22), which edged out France, Austria and Switzerland (all with 21 companies).

“ALUMINIUM underscored its role as a global marketplace and recorded gains, especially from abroad”, said Olaf Freier, the event director of ALUMINIUM, at the end of the three-day event. The same is true for visitors, where ALUMINIUM achieved a top internationality score of 54 per cent. At 20 per cent, the share of foreign visitors from overseas was remarkably high. “A benchmark for the worldwide relevance of ALUMINIUM”, says Olaf Freier.

The next ALUMINIUM, 12th World Trade Fair and Congress, will take place in Düsseldorf from 9 to 11 October 2018.

To download up-to-date images and obtain detailed information regarding the winners of the EUROPEAN ALUMINIUM AWARD, please visit

Note: The visitor, exhibitor and floor space figures of this trade fair are calculated and certified according to the uniform definitions published by FKM – German Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics.

Statements on ALUMINIUM 2016


“Now in its 11th edition, the ALUMINIUM trade fair plays a strategic role in raising the visibility of the aluminium industry. We see it as much more than a networking event: it is a way to create and build links between different parts of the value chain. This edition demonstrated once again that aluminium is clearly the preferred material for applications with strategic value for a sustainable economy, such as transport, packaging and mobility. We have a bright future ahead of us but it will require continued commitment from the industry in Europe to innovative applications and sustainable business models.”
Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium

“ALUMINIUM is excellent this year. It is a good show and a great opportunity to engage with our stakeholders. We are very pleased with the fair.”
Anne Jahr, Communications Manager Europe / Norway and Government Affairs Alcoa Norway ANS

“The ALUMINIUM trade fair in Düsseldorf is a particularly important trade fair for us: this is where the world of aluminium gets together! That makes ALUMINIUM the right platform for the ever-important management of the relationships with not just our customers but also our suppliers. We use the trade fair to start or continue project discussions, which can sometimes lead to orders being placed, to make interesting new contacts and, above all, to present significant new developments. This year, that was primarily Achenbach’s automation technology, specifically our rolling mill simulator, which turned out to be a trade visitor magnet. A small competition called ‘Who rolls the best ribbon’ provided some welcome entertainment. It goes without saying that Achenbach will be back in 2018.”
Dr. Gabriele Barten, Leiterin Marketing, Geschäftsführung – Marketing, Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH & Co. KG

“We’re very satisfied with ALUMINIUM 2016. The split of the semi-finished goods area into rolling and extrusion segments benefitted us. We could really reach our customers from construction, plant and mechanical engineering, and transport very well. In our mind, the trade fair is distinct also because it enables us to reach a trade audience and talk to our customers about technology-related issues in a pleasant setting. That’s why we participated in the trade fair supporting programme’s conference with not one but two presenters – with great success. Of course we’ve already booked our stand for 2018.”
Michaela Zierhut, Strategie & Marketingservices, HAI, Österreich

“Our high expectations of ALUMINIUM 2016 were completely fulfilled by the trade fair. We’re very happy with the quantity and quality of the visitors. In Düsseldorf, we’re dedicated mostly to the German market. But we’ve also had customers from the US and Asia visit us here, which is very important for us as a growing international company. For us, ALUMINIUM offers the unbeatable advantage that we can present all our business areas equally – automotive, aerospace, industry and packaging. That’s why we’ll definitely return in 2018.”
Catherine Athenes, Marketing Director, Constellium, Frankreich

“Compared to what we had expected because of the late trade fair dates, the event was stunning. Our stand was full the entire time. We had more visitor traffic than ever before, which must have had something to do with the change of location in the hall and the creative stand concept. We saw lots of existing customers, but also prospects who hadn’t known us before. We’re confident regarding the analyses we’ll conduct after the trade fair. We’re particularly delighted by the positive feedback we received for our new plant in Ranshofen. ALUMINIUM is a great platform to introduce our plans. We couldn’t have imagined better encouragement and affirmation. In general, we’re optimistic about the development of the market and future growth. The mood is excellent.”
Dipl.-Ing. Leopold Pöcksteiner, Area Manager Strategy, Communication and Marketing, AMAG Austria Metall AG, Österreich

“It’s always great to be back at ALUMINIUM. We engage in great talks about innovative developments and products here. Here at the trade fair, we even shape part of the future. A good example is e-mobility, which has emerged as an innovation driver in our industry.”
Dr. Martin Iffert, Chairman of the Board, TRIMET Aluminium SE

“It was a great trade fair for us. We’ve been exhibiting since the inaugural ALUMINIUM, and we’re once again very pleased this year. We saw many of our long-time partners and customers as well as plenty of potential new customers. ALUMINIUM is a very important trade fair for us, because Western Europe is our main market. We’ll be back again in two years.”
Derin Akersoy, Marketing Manager, Assan Alüminyum, Turkey

“We were quite sceptical, actually, because of ALUMINIUM’s late date this year. But even in the run-up to the event, it became clear that neither the quantity nor the quality of customer talks would suffer as a result. Over the three days, we managed to talk to 95 per cent of our key accounts. That speaks to ALUMINIUM’s quality and efficiency. We’re once again very satisfied.”
Frank Busenbecker, Managing Director, Erbslöh Aluminium GmbH

“We saw a high quantity of high-quality visitors at our stand. Interesting conversations ensued. As such, we’re very satisfied with this year’s trade fair. We look forward to the next ALUMINIUM taking place a little bit earlier again.”
Wolfgang Blendl, VP Commercial & Business Development, Sapa Extrusion Europe

“As first-time exhibitors, we were able to establish highly interesting contacts with companies we’d never met at any of the other pertinent trade fairs. That makes us optimistic as far as our event follow-up measures are concerned. Thus, we’re leaning toward participating in the trade fair again.”
Ralf Winzen, Sales/Authorised Representative, INNOMAX AG

“It was a great ALUMINIUM for us. We’re just as pleased with the trade fair as we are with the visitors we met here. The current mood in the industry is excellent. That benefits us, too. That’s why we’re able to look to next year with optimism.”
Wolfgang Bittner, Sales Manager, PRESSTA EISELE

“We are quite pleased with our presence at Aluminium 2016. Hydro´s stand has received very positive feedback and we attracted very many customers and business partners, with whom we had lots good talks, also about our innovative solutions and projects. All this reflects the growth of our industry and confirms the status of the ALUMINIUM fair as an important meeting point.”
Kjetil Ebbesberg, Hydro, Executive Vice President, Rolled Products



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