The 2019 EIFI conference was held from 16 to 19 May 2019 in Lyon, France, capital of French cuisine and home of cinema, since it was the city where the Lumiere brothers invented the cinematograph at the end of the 1800s and produced the world’s first movie.
The program commenced on Thursday, 16 May 2019, with a welcome dinner at the Novotel Part Dieu. Owners and representatives from the most important European fastener manufacturers, and members of EIFI, had the pleasure of gathering in an atmosphere of friendship, spending an enjoyable evening together.
The next day was enti rely dedicated to meetings. There were many special guests of the EIFI representing different associations around the world, such as the President of EFDA (European Fastener Dist ributors Association) Volker Lederer, Past President of the US Association IFI (Industrial Fasteners Institute) Preston Boyd, President of the South-African SAFMA (South African Fastener Manufacturers Association) Rob Pietersma, and President of the Taiwanese TFTA (Taiwan Fastener Trading Association) Jim Chen accompanied by Ivan Lin, President of the International Committee of TFTA. They all gave very interesting presentations on their markets, which were greatly appreciated by the EIFI members.
ARTEMA, the French Mechatronic Industries Association, organiser of the event, invited two external speakers: Marc Gohlke, CEO of CARA– European Cluster for Mobility Solutions – who during the session dedicated to the Automotive industry gave a very interesting speech on the impact of the Regulations on the European automotive sector, and Denis Ferrand, CEO of Rexecode, who during the opening session of the conference gave an excellent report on the global economic situation.
Furthermore, like every year, many EIFI members were called up on stage to talk.
Paolo Pozzi, President of the Automotive Group, gave an overview of the current global economic situation, analysing in detail the trend of the automotive industry, noting how world car sales dropped significantly in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year (China-11.3%, Europe -3.3%, Korea -3%, USA -2.5%, Japan -0.9%), with the exception of Brazil, which recorded an increase of 10.4%.
Stefan Beyer, director of the Executive Committee, also gave a very interesting presentation. He updated members on the various activities carried out by his Committee over the past year, and presented a detailed update of the global and specific statistics for the European fastener industry.
Ramon Ceravalls, President of the EIFI General Fasteners Group, talked about the performance of the global construction sector (particularly in Europe), which is expected to grow until 2022, led by South-East Asia, the Middle East, USA and Africa.
During the gala dinner at the “Cour des Loges” restaurant, President Karlsson and Vice-Presidents Fontana and Fuchs presented the Robert Dicke Award to Sergio Pirovano, with the congratulations and applause of all those present.
The next day, Saturday 18 May, was spent visiting the beautiful French region of Beaujolais and in particular the villages of Oingt, Theize and Bagnoles, famous for their wine production and golden-coloured stones.
The next annual EIFI conference will be hosted by the member, Deutscher Schraubenverband e.V., and will take place in beautiful Garmisch, Germany, from 14 to 17 May 2020.