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Autopromotec widens spare parts presence with association partnership

Thursday, August 7, 2008 - 00:00
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Autopromotec widens spare parts presence with association partnership

Two prominent Italian trade groups have made an agreement that will considerably increase the presence of aftermarket spare parts at next spring’s Autopromotec trade show.

The Italian Automotive Industry Network (ANFIA) and Autopromotec, the culmination of two trade associations have joined forces, forming a partnership that will help Italy make more of a splash on the international scene.

The show, which takes place in Bologna May 20-24, a high-end manufacturing hub in Northern Italy, has had a strong focus on shop equipment and collision repair technology in the past due to the presence of the Italian Automotive Service Equipment Manufacturers Association (AICA), Italy’s prominent service and parts organization, as well as the country’s tire association.

The biennial show has picked up prominence and widened its scope over the years, signs of a convention that’s still growing.

The partnership will surely bolster Italy’s presence in this marketplace. ANFIA alone represents more than 50 billion euros of business, says Gianmarco Giorda, ANFIA’s director of operations.

“It can be a good moment to come into the European market,” says Renzo Servadei, AICA’s general secretary. Europe is an export-friendly country, but U.S. companies may also benefit from Italy’s strong euro, he adds.

And Bologna is indicative of the Italian automotive industry, with lots of small companies, but within those moderate bases of operations lie a wealth of technology, adds Servadei.

To get a glimpse of what these companies are capable of, one only need to point to the craftsmanship of such Italian manufacturers as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Ducati, and even the popularity of the Fiat, which very well may make its second, and expectedly more successful, foray into the U.S. market soon.

Autopromotec offers a “big window” into the Italian automotive marketplace, admits Giorgio Cometti, president of AICA, who also owns Polin, maker of everything from collision repair spray booths to industrial ovens for the food industry.

Cometti also points to the quality inherent in Italian brands. “Italy’s recognized around the world for Armani, Prada,” he says. “We’re the Armani of the automotive business,” he adds, referring to the Italian automotive industry.

Despite its OEM domination, Italy has a strong independent aftermarket, says Riccardo Buttafarro, president of ANFIA, who is also a consultant and the owner of an Italian parts distributor.

Autopromotec has taken on more of an international flavor, says Emanuele Vicentini, promotion and development director for Promotec. He adds that last year’s show saw the biggest attendance ever. Now, the partnership with ANFIA will mark Autopromotec as the de facto Italian automotive trade show.

When doing business with Italian companies, you’re buying safety, reliability and quality, says Vicentini.

Servadei agrees. He refers to the axiom that goes, something like, “if you pay less now, you pay more tomorrow.”

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