Autopromotec, Day One: Speech! Speech!
Autopromotec, the nickname for the International Biennal Exhibition of Automotive Equipment and Aftermarket Products, has begun. Attendance is expected to exceed 100,000 buyers, one-fifth of them international buyers.
The show has experienced significant growth in diagnostic equipment exhibitors over the years. This year, Autopromotec features a new initiative for the heavy-duty truck segment.
The 25th edition of the trade fair will run through May 26, 2013, in Bologna, Italy. It officially opened, on Wednesday, May 22nd. Speeches by Duccio Campagnoli, president of Bologna Fiere, and Giorgio Cometti, president of the Italian Garage Equipment Manufacturers Association (AICA), opened the conference.
Campagnoli emphasized the success of the trade fair, with a record-breaking 1,512 exhibitors, including 600 coming from 52 different foreign countries. Cometti reminded the audience that this success is the result of a decision, made a few years ago, to limit the participation in foreign trade fairs, and focus instead on bringing foreign visitors to Bologna to enjoy a showcase of Italian products and companies. The reason? The decline in domestic demand.
Cometti also pointed out that this decline is partially linked with the difficulties that many companies continue to face in gaining access to credit, which limits their ability to invest in innovation.
In spite of this, innovation remains the key driver of the industry, according to Marc Aguettaz of GiPA Italia. His in-depth economic analysis revealed a fast-evolving, yet stable market in spite of the crisis.
The market is undergoing a process of consolidation, with a smaller number of larger, better equipped workshops. As Fausto Antinucci of Italia Bilanci pointed out, on the one hand the industry enjoys, on average, a good level of profitability, which was not too badly affected by the serious decline in new vehicle registrations. However, in this scenario, larger companies perform significantly better, because they are able to improve the efficiency of their processes.
Three key figures of the industry, ANFIA President Roberto Vavassori, Magneti Marelli President Eugenio Razelli and Fiat Industrial Parts&Service’s president Dino Maggioni, addressed the role of suppliers of automotive products and services in Italy. This sector is very important due to its high number of actors and high sales turnover, yet it is extremely fragmented. In this situation, making the conspicuous investments required to keep up with the industrial giants of other Countries is proving to be difficult.
Vavassori asked businesses to come together in order to support the overall growth of the industry, and suggested the creation of an instrument that could facilitate this process: an “Automotive Council” that would support the government in making the most important decisions concerning the industry.
Razelli pointed out how the fast-paced progress of automotive technology is changing the way cars are used, opening up new business opportunities for the repair industry, as long as the players involved make the necessary investments in equipment and training. The closest example is the telematic box, which, among other things, could soon change relationships between car owners and insurance companies.
Finally, Maggioni described the evolution of industrial vehicles toward an increasing integration and inter-connection, with the help of telematic instruments that will dramatically increase efficiency while cutting down costs, with significant business opportunities for the repair, maintenance and aftermarket sector. Size and expertise will be key factors in achieving this goal, he added.