At the start of the Technik-Messe CES The mood in Las Vegas is bad. After explosive growth in the corona pandemic, the industry is preparing for slow growth in business with consumers.
The US industrial association CTA expects sales in the important home market for this year to increase by 2.8 percent to 505 billion dollars (445.8 billion euros). In 2021, revenues had increased by 9.6 percent.
This year, the CES will take place without many large exhibitors such as Intel, Google or General Motors, who decided against participating at short notice due to the spread of the Omikron variant.
E-research vehicle from Mercedes
The CTA association, as the CES organizer, stuck to the show in Las Vegas and referred, among other things, to the interests of many small and medium-sized companies that had already invested in their trade fair presence. But for many of them, too, the trip to CES seemed too risky. At the start-up event “CES Unveiled”, which young companies like to use as a springboard for media attention, many of the otherwise coveted spaces were left empty.
Various innovations, which would normally have got a big stage at the CES, were presented online. For example, the electric research car Vision EQXX from Mercedes, which is expected to have a range of more than 1000 kilometers on one battery charge. Other European companies such as the French fitness technology specialist Withings, on the other hand, are present at CES.
The growth in sales in the sector will be slowed in the current year mainly by the hardware business, which continues to suffer from bottlenecks in the supply chains. According to the CTA forecast, business with devices in the USA will only grow by two percent – after nine percent in 2021. For software and online services, growth is likely to fall from 11.4 to 6 percent.
Still more than 2200 exhibitors
CTA research director Steve Koenig referred above all to the shortage of chips, which is making the automotive industry difficult to create. At the same time, he was confident that the demand for technology products would remain high in the long term. Because people have resorted to computers and online services much more since the pandemic – and this change will outlast the corona crisis.
Despite the cancellation of many tech heavyweights, more than 2200 exhibitors are still represented on site, emphasizes the CTA. And in the past two weeks, 143 new companies have joined the company despite Omikron. After the cancellations, however, the show was shortened by one day and now closes on Friday. (dpa / gem)
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