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Road Shows in South America

The road show, aimed at increasing the number of delegates and visitors from these two countries, held between December 4 to 12 last year, presented several points of interest that will be detailed and finalized during the project’s next step

Mauro Paternò

For over a decade now, and with greater frequency and determination, Autopromotec has targeted international markets both in Europe as well as fast developing countries for its promotional activities and following this trend promotional events and road shows have multiplied, in the belief that a greater international appeal of the event itself may be a harbinger of business for all the exhibitors at the upcoming event.

This was the spirit behind the road show in Argentina, with a stop in Buenos Aires, and Brazil (Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and São Paulo), as part of the internationalization of the trade fair system. This project was co-financed, for the 2014-2015 period, by the Emilia Romagna region, which recognized the pivotal role played by the automotive equipment and assistance industry as a major regional industrial hub, with positive effects both for the economic / productive system as well as employment opportunities.

The road show, aimed at increasing the number of delegates and visitors from these two countries, held between December 4 to 12 last year, presented several points of interest that will be detailed and finalized during the project’s next step.


Both Brazil and Argentina have already been involved in past promotional activities as well as organizing visiting delegations to previous Autopromotec editions, but the continuous evolution of the market has led to new opportunities for development which will be described below.


First stage of the road show: Buenos Aires. Together with the local Italian Chamber of Commerce, with which the organizers of the Bologna exhibition have entertained relations for some years, all local delegations of associations and federations as well as local businesses, especially manufacturers, exporters and networks of buyers, were illustrated the contents of the upcoming event. Media representatives, active in the automotive sector were also present, actively contributing to the success of the event.

The difficulties of the local market, due to a strong closure to foreign trade in favor of local producers, once again reflect the policies of the government. Nevertheless, due to this isolationist policy, inflation (which has risen unofficially to 30% in 2014) and the consequent devaluation of the peso, are stifling the automotive industry. Yet, despite the aforementioned government measures that restrict exports, some of the country’s most dynamic realities are still looking to foreign markets with great and renewed interest.  Besides Buenos Aires, there is another important production area - especially for vehicle components and spare parts - in Cordoba, already present with a local Pro Cordoba territorial development agent at Autopromotec 2013, and a third industrial hub around the city of Rafaela.


Promotion activities will continue thanks to the Italian Chamber of Commerce represented by the project manager Valentina Gorrieri and the Secretary General Claudio Parabola: both already very familiar with Autopromotec and the Italian Association of garage equipment manufacturers.
At the Buenos Aires show, where a cocktail party was organized in an Italian restaurant, was present also the local association of tire retreaders. The director illustrated an important development, namely, the birth, in 2014, of a South American federation of various associations of tire retreaders from Mexico to Argentina, passing through Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil and more.

As a result of the informal conversation during the cocktail party, a meeting of all the European and South American associations in this important sector at Autopromotec 2015, in May, was established, where common problems and opportunities can be shared.


Present also the national agency for export, ExportAR, set up by the Presidency of the Republic, to whom the Brand Manager of the event Emanuele Vicentini illustrated the scope of the next Autopromotec 2015 event.

The agency, whose financing program for 2015 is still being defined, has expressed its intention, in the face of indications of interest from various stakeholders and representatives (associations and companies), to include Autopromotec among its 2015 calendar of events with the "meeting point" formula, 32/48 sqm especially prepared to give the country visibility and host a number of Argentine companies interested in the event. Above all, the agency will help create a further delegation of buyers visiting the Bologna event.


Second stage of the road show, and the first in Brazil, was Porto Alegre. Here, rather than mere promotional activities, the current state of the international automotive aftermarket was discussed with the support of EGEA and GIPA.


Brazil, though its economy has recently slowed down, still maintains a strong potential for further growth in the coming years, especially in the automotive industry, one of the country’s strongest, where Italy plays a relevant role. Moreover, the car, in the collective imagination of the population besides its daily use, is becoming an asset of increasing interest, thanks to which, in the last five years, a significant portion of the population has been able to emancipate itself from poverty. The psychological threshold of a car every five inhabitants is reachable, and considering the country’s 165 million citizens, the data is more than interesting.


The production of motor vehicles remains above 3.4 million even in 2014 (source ANFAVEA) for both the domestic and Pan-American market, and, simultaneously, the vehicle components and spare parts industry is growing at a rate of 5-7% per annum (2012 data SINDIPECAS) while in the Brasilian subcontinent the progressive introduction of regulatory standards of production and certifications required for traffic circulation will continue to provide a great stimulus to the market, seeing the need for the national network of workshops to equip themselves with the necessary  tools, a sector in which domestic production is lacking.



The Rio Grande do Sul state, with a population of over 10 million inhabitants and a very strong Italian influence in the Northeast due to last century’s massive immigration, is one of the states with the highest GDP per capita and home to many companies in the automotive sector.

The seminar, coordinated by the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Rio Grande do Sul, was held in the exhibition center of Porto Alegre, just outside the city.

This structure is owned by FIERS, the Federation of Industry and Economy of Rio Grande do Sul –the equivalent to Italy’s Confindustria here in this Brazilian state - and was attended, among others, by the Director Kurt Ziegler and the Italian consul Nicola Occhipinti.

The exhibition halls already host an event dedicated to the automotive aftermarket industry called Autopar, organized by a private company, reflecting a strong territorial appeal.

During the meeting, the Director of FIERS stressed that a greater presence of the Italian garage equipment industry, perhaps through a dedicated event, would be greatly welcomed and have the opportunity to use their modern exhibition grounds.

The first report of the Vice President of EGEA Massimo Brunamonti illustrated the current European situation in terms of both market legislation and automotive safety equipment, and new technological developments being applied to motor vehicles (European) and that will greatly influence the future of vehicle services too. Next, Emanuele Vicentini, Brand Manager of Autopromotec, outlined the strengths and innovations of the 2015 event, which meets all the expectations in terms of international appeal and specialization.


The Consul expressed his interest in Autopromotec and guaranteed his efforts in alerting the Ambassador himself on the initiative, to get in touch with APEX (Agency for the internationalization of Brazilian companies) to include Autopromotec in the calendar of European exhibition with the goal of bringing an increasing number of Brazilian buyers to the fair.


The second stage, in Belo Horizonte was, perhaps, in terms of participation and immediate and concrete development opportunities, the most interesting.

The close ties with the local Italian Chamber of Commerce - coordinated by the Secretary Leonardo Freitas - the huge production reality of FIAT and business associates and industries located in the state have facilitated the entire operation. The seminar took place at the headquarters of FIEMG (Industrial Confederation of the State of Minas Gerais) and was attended by over 30 associations of independent producers of spare parts, importers of equipment and spare parts, tire distributors and workshop networks, all associated to FIEMG. The feeling of the strength of the automotive industry in this city was very strong. Immediately after the event, a journalist working for the largest newspaper in the state of Minas Gerais interviewed Brunamonti and Vicentini, interested in understanding the state of the international market as well as the latest Italian products,  to find out the reasons behind Italy’s leadership in the market and the prospects offered by Autopromotec.

The seminar was also attended by a SEBRAE official, the institute for the development of small and medium sized enterprises, a presence of extraordinary interest since exponents of this association participate only to external events that they believe target the interest of the state’s small and medium-sized firms.

Noteworthy was also the presence of the President of the Camara Automotiva Mineira Fabio Sacioto and the President of Sindirepa (National Union of Auto-repairers) Ramon Melo, both very active in asking questions and describing the characteristics of the local market. The outreach of the activities by the local Chamber, in the coming weeks, will bring the right results.


Finally, Sao Paulo, where twice already in the past Autopromotec and AICA held their road shows, meeting with various stakeholders and promoting both the fair and the association.
The seminar followed the same formula used in Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte, with a report by EGEA and a second one directly focusing on Autopromotec 2015. Here the Director of GIPA, Raul Camargo Neto, during his intervention, compared the five largest European car markets with the three largest Latin American markets providing interesting insights.

Finally, the presentation of Autopromotec 2015 received the support of the Director of ANDAP (Association of Importers of Components and Equipment of the state of São Paulo), Renato Giannini, who was already part of the visiting delegation at the Autopromotec 2013 event, and has repeatedly stressed the importance of the show and made himself available for any future initiatives.

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