2015 Autopromotec: car talk in Europe

May 26, 2015

Autopromotec, the most specialized international exhibition for the car equipment and aftermarket sector, chose “The economy is picking up. Cars can restart” theme for its 2015 congress, held in Bologna, Italy, as part of its trade fair.

The assembly addressed the global economic scenario in depth, with an important lecture by Professor Giacomo Vaciago, a teacher of monetary economics at the Università Cattolica of Milan. He analyzed the origins of the economic crisis in detail and the factors that offer hope for recovery.

"There is still no shared diagnosis for the crisis, first financial and then economic (which started on Aug. 9, 2007), and there is also no shared definition of the causes, which makes it so difficult to interpret and treat," he said.

Italy experienced particular hardship because it was characterized by strictly rationed bank credit, which had repercussions on internal demand and disrupted various sectors including the car market. Vaciago defined it as "the worst thing that ever happened to any of us" because in Italy, it was aggravated by the coexistence of political problems that had been left unresolved or simply ignored.

However, he said 2015 started with three positive developments:

1. a drop in the oil price,

2. a decline in the value of the euro, and

3. the economic "stimulus" package promoted by the European Central Bank.

On the downside, there is a negative "heritage" linked to unresolved geopolitical problems, like the Eurozone crisis following the collapse of Greece.

"We have to face the real problems of reconstructing Italy and Europe, in order to be sure that the recovery leads to growth. The hope is that this year is the right one in Europe to negotiate a new program for a common course to be resumed after the interruption of the crisis years."

Vaciago said there is a serious paradox in the analysis of the development of the Italian economy. There are still many who doubt the recovery, while if we look closely at the two economic factors most indicative of the economic cycle -- the sale of homes and cars -- we see that the recovery had already timidly started a year ago. Every new figure that emerges about 2014 confirms that for real estate and cars the worst is over.

So, what is missing in order to stimulate a little more optimism? There is the ominous and unresolved problem of bad debts that continues to hinder the action of the monetary policy in support of the economy, he said. Unless the associated problems are addressed, there will never be much optimism.

The event also included a presentation by Giuseppe Barile, vice president of the Componenti ANFIA Group, who provided a detailed overview of vehicle production trends, both at a national and international level. He further presented an analysis of the data pertaining to the Italian component production sector, an area of excellence that has withstood the test of the economic crisis thanks to an ever-growing presence on the international markets.

This was followed by a debate on the car sector featuring Eugenio Razelli, CEO of Magneti Marelli SpA, and Dino Maggioni, senior vice president of Pirelli & Cie SpA's Industrial Business Unit. They each provided evidence as to the ongoing recovery of the European automotive sector after years of severe crisis. Two trends can already be observed: a tendency to favor high-end products, as confirmed by Maggioni; and the fundamental contribution of vehicle technology and on-board electronics, two areas that might create new businesses at all stages of the production chain, said Razelli.

Duccio Campagnoli, president of BolognaFiere SpA, Renzo Servadei, CEO of Autopromotec, and Giovanni Sacchi, co-ordinating director, Italy, for ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency, also spoke during the congress.

The Autopromotec trade fair, official known as the International Biennial Exhibition of Automotive Equipment and Aftermarket Products, was held from May 20-24. For more information, check out these links:

"Experts discuss industry issues at Autopromotec."

"Pirelli helps open 2015 Autopromotec."

"Autopromotec expects the masses to attend."

For more information on Autopromotec, visit www.autopromotec.com, www.facebook.com/Autopromotec and twitter.com/Autopromotec.