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1st Electronica - Americans Eye Rocky German Road
February 14, 1964 Electronics Magazine Article

February 14, 1964 Electronics

February 14, 1964 Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Electronics, published 1930 - 1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Electronics 2018 - RF CafeElectronica 2018 is just a month away in Munich, Germany, on November 13th through 16th. It is held every two years at the Messe München trade-fair center. You would be forgiven for believing that because the show has always been based in Germany that it was a German nation brainchild. However, based on the article in a 1964 issue of Electronics magazine - the first year of Electronica - its progenitor was the American trade group International Electronics Association (IEA - no longer in operation). Its founders wanted to usurp France's Salle de Composants as Europe's largest components trade show. And now you know... the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would end his broadcast. Strong opposition was provided by Germany's Central Association of the Electro-Technical Industry (ZVEI - still in operation today). In the pre-Internet world, getting the word out - especially in other countries - about a company's new product offerings was not easy, so the international trade shows became a primary venue for dissemination of such information. As one salesman put it, "They don't know what we have and often they don't know what they really need."

Here is a 50-year anniversary flyer with some of Electronica's history.

Americans Eye Rocky German Road - Electronics

Americans Eye Rocky German Road, February 14, 1964 Electronics Magazine - RF CafeSalesman at left takes an order at the U. S. Trade Center. Bookings at relatively small show last month totaled $300,000, and potential orders from new customers are estimated at up to $10 million.

Big, new show - opposed by German trade group - planned by Americans.

By Richard Mikton

McGraw-Hill World News

Bonn - Despite strong opposition, an American-inspired plan to launch a new series of components shows, called Electronica, is going ahead. The first show will be in Munich October 21 to 29. Its founders hope it will soon compete with the Paris Salle de Composants as Europe's largest electronics show.

Two highly successful shows-one last month, another last year - at the U. S. Department of Commerce's Trade Center in Frankfurt convinced American companies that the market for sophisticated components in Germany warrants a show on the scale of Electronica. These shows were limited in scope. Electronica would gather in exhibitors and visitors from all over Europe, including the Communist bloc.

Opposition to Electronica is coming from the powerful Central Association of the Electro-Technical Industry (ZVEI). Some observers think ZVEI is protesting so loudly because they did not get the idea first. Others think Electronica will be superfluous and at worse harmful to the big trade shows in Paris, London and Hanover.

Nevertheless, the recently founded American trade group, the International Electronics Association, is going ahead with its plans. IEA founders include the European branches or representatives of Honeywell, Hughes, Amphenol Borg, Harshaw Chemicals, Hewlett-Packard, Taylor Instruments and Consolidated Electrodynamics.

These companies have long sought an all-electronics show to meet a growing demand in Central Europe. Dozens of small and medium-sized German component producers welcome Electronica as the only occasion to exhibit to a specialized crowd within their own boarders.

Electronica is expected to have more than 300 exhibitors. Even before the final announcement, 130 firms made inquires. Applications have been received from Germany, England, France, Italy, the U. S. and the East bloc.

Multimillion-Dollar Market - The U. S. supplied nearly $10 million of Germany's 1962 imports of communications equipment, half the $25 million in instrument and controls imports, one-quarter of the $45 million in components imports, and $4 million of the $6 million in computer imports. A rising demand for industrial electronics parts has offset declines in radio and TV parts.

Continuing vigor of U. S. sales in West Germany was demonstrated at last month's Trade Center show. Some 31 exhibitors represented more than 100 U. S. companies. Visitors averaged 250 a day. Eight companies alone reported on-the-spot sales of $300,000 and expect to sell $6 million to 10 million worth to new-found customers. At a July, 1963 show, sales were over $1 million and potential sales around $10 million.

Selling in Europe - An estimated 60 percent of the products shown last month were not available domestically. Those that are available here usually cost more than American parts and lack American quality.

Because many of the visitors - 250 a day - were unfamiliar with the newer components, explaining applications was a large part of the selling job. Representatives of larger companies, like GE and RCA, at the show thought only 3 or 4 percent of the visitors appreciated many of the newer products.

"They don't know what we have and often they don't know what they really need," said one salesman.

Much of the business at the show consisted of lining up agents and representatives. Ten exhibitors were seeking 53 reps in 23 countries. But most company officials were cautious about making final agreements, realizing that Europe's infant space industry, its declining military market and booming industrial sector impose requirements still mostly unknown - that are different than in the U. S.

Most exhibitors discount possible European competition, because of lower U. S. prices and higher quality. No serious European competition exists for most of the components displayed at the show, particularly in fields like numerical control for machine tools. The U. S. has a corner on that market, and dominates the computer market.



Posted October 18, 2018

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