Bayer MaterialScience AG's absence was a sign of tough times at last year's Chinaplas. For the 2010 exhibition, however, the company was back with a flashy booth and a renewed focus on market trends.
We're back to showcase our products around the megatrends, said Rainer Rettig, Asia-Pacific senior vice president for BMS' polycarbonates and advanced resins division.
Last year we were more focused on close-to-customer services.
While Leverkusen, Germany-based BMS may have been focusing on customer-friendly programs, 2009 was a difficult year for the high-tech materials business.
BMS saw its global sales shrink by 22.8 percent during 2009, with raw materials for the company's foaming products hit the hardest, down by 27.4 percent.
That year, sitting in that crisis and wondering where it was going, we were still optimistic, Rettig said at Chinaplas 2010, held April 19-22 in Shanghai. The positive outlook, he said, was related to Asia's megatrends.
To Rettig, the buzzword represents growing markets in Asia and the challenges that they represent. Supported by government stimulus, China's automobile market has exploded in the past year, with domestic car sales outpacing automobile sales in the United States.
At its booth, Bayer showcased a concept car, the i-mode, that the company developed in collaboration with Hyundai.
As countries mature, people tend to buy TV sets and then they tend to buy cars, Rettig said. We want to bring our know-how to our automotive partners.
BMS also announced a partnership with Tongji University to work hand-in-hand with future automotive designers.
China's stimulus has also included other modes of transportation, and BMS sees potential in markets for newly built railways and metro lines.
The company also is promoting materials for energy-efficient insulation and light-emitting-diode lighting.
There is a need for more qualitative products and we continue to educate the Chinese customers when it comes to the benefits of reducing weights and improving sustainability, Rettig said.
With these trends to follow, Rettig predicts this year will be much-improved.
There will still be challenges, especially with the concern that commodity prices will go up, he said. But there is a lot of growth to be expected.
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