AUTOPROMOTEC, CHANGING THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD
A large crowd gathered for the 2017 edition of Autopromotec. With over 113,000 visitors, more than 1,600 exhibitors and a strong international presence, the 27th biennial show dedicated to the automotive aftermarket will be remembered as a "record-setting edition", the distinctive elements being the quality and quantity of goods on display as well as a packed agenda of meetings and debate forums. 2017
In the battle for survival, victory does not always belong to the strongest individual, but rather to the one that best copes with the changes. This is one of the messages delivered during the 2017 edition of Autopromotec. With 113,616 visitors (9.26% more than the previous edition) and 422 specialized journalists (33.4% of which were foreigners), the 27th international biennial aftermarket show will certainly be remembered as a "record setting edition". During the five days of the event - which was held at the Bologna Fair grounds from May 24 to 28 - the program was, in fact, very rich and inviting thanks to the presence of 1,651 exhibitors (4% more than 2015) coming from 53 countries and 93 conferences and meetings, the main ones being organized under the AutopromotecEDU banner (a forum for discussion and debate on the industry’s hottest topics), involving more than 2,900 professionals. Such a success comes at the very crucial moment for the automotive industry in general and especially for the auto-repair segment : after contaminating our cars, the 4th industrial revolution is about to change also the way our cars are repaired and serviced. "Automotive technologies - connectivity, digitization and vehicle automation - contribute greatly to the creation of standardized product excellence, while growing multi-channel systems reduce margins linked to the mere sales of products - says Renzo Servadei, CEO of Autopromotec. The game, therefore will be played in the field of aftermarket service. Growth opportunities are definitely there, but this technical evolution must involve the sector’s professionals side by side with new hi-tech automobiles and motorists".
The latest Autopromotec edition shook a sector that in Italy alone can count on about 2,000 component manufacturers for a total of 136,000 employees. A sector that, according to ANFIA (National Association of the Automotive Industry Supply-Chain), produced a turnover of 38.8 billion euro in 2015 alone with exports at 19.9 billion. These numbers should also be added to car maintenance expense, which in Italy was € 29.5 billion in 2016, up 3.9%. The car repair industry is currently back on track and the future looks positive too. Italy, in particular, can count on important leadership values. "It is not only possible to produce in Italy, but recommendable. Despite the many delays, this is a country where entrepreneurship, skills and human resources rank at the top worldwide", said Mauro Severi, chairman of AICA (Italian Association of Garage Equipment Manufacturers), during the opening meeting. "We are looking at becoming, with Germany, the only true factory 4.0 in Europe".
Of a similar opinion is also Vincenzo Boccia: "This trade show is saying that the aftermarket is alive and more vital than ever before - said the President of Confindustria, while visiting the exhibition halls of the Bologna trade fair -. The automotive sector is the litmus test for the economic recovery of our country. The great challenge now is to ride the fourth industrial revolution, which will involve all industrial sectors with the goal of creating an Industry 4.0 that will exalt the economic potential of new technologies and recognize the industrial sector as the true engine of development and growth". And the journey, it seems, started at Autopromotec 2017.
Fifty years after the first edition, the Bologna trade show has once again confirmed itself as a privileged stage for the industry’s excellence with an exhibition, in terms of quantity and quality of the participants, truly noteworthy, but also for its international spirit. 42% of the exhibitors were in fact foreigners. The event therefore, acted as the host for the whole aftermarket sector which is set to change the automotive world. During the five days of the event, the world's largest garage equipment and components manufacturers, car service providers, trade syndicates, business networks, Industry associations, institutions and experts flocked together, side by side in the halls and meeting rooms, to ignite debates and discussions on the need to seize the opportunities of a future that is, by now, no longer just wishful thinking but a concrete scenario just around the corner.
Officina 4.0: back to the future
Connected vehicles, self-driving cars, Internet of Things, Big Data: these technologies will soon be all around us, no questions about it. Some are already here. But the real questions are: how will they affect workshops as of tomorrow? How will they change the work of repair and maintenance specialists? Autopromotec provided the opportunity to glance at this, not so distant future, thanks to the “Officina 4.0: Proof of Concept”. Created and developed with Accenture inside Hall 30, this project consisted in a 30-minute tour where Autopromotec's visitors had the exclusive opportunity to see the latest technologies first hand, receive a preview of the industry’s future and be ready to anticipate future customer needs and see first-hand new diagnostic methods as well as new repair procedures. A true Interactive full-immersion experience in what can be considered a 4.0 industrial setting that included the most common procedures, from booking an appointment directly through the infotainment system, prompt identification and quotation of the required spare parts as well as the actual repair work and the preferred payment system. Considering the limited access, a reservation was essential , yet the event was sold out in every session, for a total of 1,460 participants.
All five continents at Autopromotec 2017
Autopromotec's 27th edition confirmed its international vocation: out of all the visitors almost 21% (around 23,000) and about 42% of the total number of exhibitors (689) were in fact foreigners. There were people from all five continents walking around the fair stands during the five days of the event. Speaking of the exhibitors, the most represented countries were China, Germany, Great Britain, Taiwan, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, the Netherlands and Turkey.
For companies, Autoprometec 2017 was also an exceptional opportunity for networking: in the "B2B Area" of the Circuit of Ideas, organized right in the middle of Bologna's exhibition ground, 120 buyers from 30 countries - invited by the fair’s organizers with the support of ICE (Agency for the Promotion and Internationalization of Italian Companies), EEN and Unioncamere Emilia-Romagna – successfully engaged in about 720 business meetings with 110 Italian firms.
Tomorrow belongs to young people
"Homo faber fortunae suae" (literally "man is the creator of his own destiny"): Autopromotec’s motto. The future of the aftermarket is, in fact, today more than ever in the hands of companies called upon to innovate and evolve side by side with the market. The future is, however, also in the hands of the next generations who will receive the heritage of the world currently under construction, and to these Autopromotec paid particular attention opening its doors not only to schools but also organizing specific meetings to illustrate the opportunities that the industry can offer to the future generations.
Providing worthwhile opportunities for young people with the right skills to enter the job market is, on the other hand, a key requirement, as illustrated by the President of Confindustria Vincenzo Boccia during his visit to the fair. In this sense, extremely important is the contribution offered by a school-work alternation, introduced by the so-called "Buona Scuola" (Good School) reform. Much can also be done by initiatives such as “Il Giornale del Meccanico – EDU” (Journal of Mechanical Engineering). For nearly four years, the program - created by Duessegi Editore and backed by 32 industrial partners - brings the academic world closer to the job market, students towards companies, creating training opportunities for the most promising students offering real internships in selected firms. To date, 55 Italian schools have already joined the program, which has led to the creation of more than 450 courses. "GM-EDU seeks to stimulate curiosity, interest and passion for aftermarket activities in students, offering them the prospect of a successful professional future," said Giuseppe Polari, Managing Director of Duessegi Editore, at Autopromotec 2017.