Ecomotive - Archive


Production grows across the board. It’s crunch time for the passenger transport sector 

Paolo Castiglia

A supply chain experiencing renewed impetus.  After years of recession, this is how the automotive sector appears as a whole, with a consistent growth in almost all of its segments. Let us begin by taking a close look at the production of car bodies, trailers and semi-trailers which, according to ANFIA data, scored a 34% increase. During the first 7 months of the year, in fact, the average coachwork production figures recorded a 29,7% growing trend. The passenger transport sector, though, is still experiencing a heavy downturn, but the problem in this case, as we shall see later, must be identified at a structural level and it is directly tied with the rather complex issues facing local governments.

For the remainder of the sector, the growth affected all types of vehicles including light trailers (+13%), heavy duty trailers and semi-trailers (+36%) and even campers (+12%). Furthermore, we need to point out that the road haulage sector is faring much better than its passenger counterpart: during the first six months of the year, heavy duty transport vehicle (GVW of 16 tons or more) new registrations grew by 36,9% over the same period in 2015.

Still in the first semester of 2016, according to ACEA data, the average increase in heavy duty vehicles new registrations in Europe was 17,6%. France scored an 18% growth, Germany was up by 9,7%, Spain 11,8% and the UK 8,4%. 

Clearly, then, the number of new registrations in Italy was much higher than both the European average in the first six months of 2016, as well as some of the largest individual member states.

Furthermore, a breath of fresh air, financially speaking, came from a decree which recently appeared in the government gazette, which describes the way investment resources will be assigned to support transport companies in 2016. Starting September 15, 2016, until April 15, 2017 investments, as provided for by the decree, will guarantee the necessary financing. The available resources, which amount to 25 million Euro, are destined to third party transport companies and aimed at financing new and technologically more advanced vehicles.    

These extremely positive numbers though are not matched, as previously mentioned, by the passenger transport sector. In fact, still according to ACEA figures, in the first six months of 2016, new registration figures for busses and other passenger transport vehicles showed a 7,1% slump compared to the same period last year.

This is not just a negative result per se; this segment is clearly bucking the trend if compared to the European averages (which shows a 2,7% growth) as well as the single largest European countries (all with the exception of the UK, which scored a 3,5% decrease).   

According to insiders, this segment will hardly recover from its current predicaments without decisive structural interventions, such as long term mobility projects: according to ANFIA, curbing the traffic, improving the quality of the air, energy efficiency and longer design and production time for manufacturers making it possible to invest in research and innovations must be considered priorities

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