From one of the previous articles you may have come to know that there was a Motorcycle trade exhibition held in China – CIMAMotor 2009 from Sept 17-20. I had the opportunity to visit this trade fair. I have learned a lot about motorcycles in these three days. I will be publishing a lot of articles in the coming weeks including an article about how motorcycles are being manufactured. In this article I will pen down my experience in China in general.
How I Got This Opportunity: The event CIMAMotor 2009 was conducted in Chongqing, an industrial district in China. They say that the Chinese government has invested more than 500 billion dollars in the last 10 years to develop this city. This event was made possible by an organization named UNIDO-SPX which is under the supervision of the government. To increase international exposure of this event and Chinese motorcycle industry in general, they invited 14 journalists from different countries. All the invitees where either editors for motorcycle magazines or motorcycle bloggers. BikeAdvice, being a well received Motorcycle blog in India right now, I was invited to this event. They sponsored the trip 100%.
Arriving at China: I arrived at a city called Guangzhou and from there had to take a domestic flight to Chongqing. First, it was hard for me to believe that I was in China. It looked something like New York or Los Angeles. The roads had a lot of German cars, the Airport was the best one I have ever seen (next to Hong Kong airport of course) and a 500ml of bottled water cost me equivalent to 3 US Dollars. I filled my stomach at McDonalds and headed on to domestic departures. I called my host to confirm that my flight was on time and I arrived at Chongqing by 9 PM on Sep 16th. A person was holding a big banner which read CIMAMotor 2009. I was taken to a bus where I met other journalists from coutries like Brazil, Spain, US and Canada. Everyone was tired an it was no time to break the ice. The bus took us to the Carlton 5 Star hotel – a 30 storied structure with amazing architecture.
They checked-in me in into a room on the 21st floor. I was so excited and astonished at the kind of VIP treatment that I got. This was pretty good opportunity for a blogger who started just one year back! At this point I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to those who made BikeAdvice better; Sudarshan who actively replies to people’s comments and writers – Saad Khan, Arun and Chinmay. And all others who sent photos, articles and posted comments to make BikeAdvice a better place.
Day One: All of us (journalists) and the organizers met at the hotel lobby at 8 am and a bus took us to the convention centre.
Each journalist was accompanied by an escort who also was a translator. We attended the grand opening ceremony, watched motorcycle stunts being performed there and went inside the exhibit.
It was similar to the automobile shows being cunducted in India but on a grander scale. I can’t help but mention that the first thing that met my eyes inside were the beautiful Chinese models, not the bikes!
We browsed around for a few hours, took a lot of photos and gathered together for lunch. We had some free time, we broke the ice and got to know each other. At 3 PM we had a group interview with the GM of the organization who made this event possible. We all asked a lot of questions and noted down his replies. He spoke in Chinese but we had a translator.
Evening was the best of all, we had a welcome banquet. Had a great time talking with the people from the host and the journalists. Ate delicious Chinese food with chopsticks.
Day Two: The morning seesion was a forum. It was not very interesting but it was a very important one. Delegates from different countries spoke about the invesment opportunities of the Chinese motorcycle industries in their country. Each of us were provided with headphones and we can choose what language we want to hear in. It was a live translation.
We did some motorcycle test riding in the afternoon. Each manufacturer had different time slots to offer the bikes for testing. At that time, it was Loncin motorcycles.
After lunch it was exciting. We went to Loncin motorcycle factory where we saw motorcycles being manufactured on the assembly line. It was very interesting to see how fast and simple the motorcycles are being created from parts to finish within minutes. I will publish a detailed article about this in the coming week.
Day Three: We went to see the national motocross championship – live! It was pretty good. It was the first time that I saw a motorcycle race live in person. The sound, vibration and dust adds so much life.
We had lunch and we had another session on test riding chinese motorcycles. The fun was almost over. We got together for dinner and I realized that the fun wasn’t over but it was about to begin again. By this time all of us became good friends and it was more enjoyable. That’s it! I got a flight back to India the next day morning.