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Mauro Severi: “Training and Innovation are the keys to remain competitive”

Carlo Ferro

The Italian Association of Garage Equipment Manufacturers welcomed a positive year-end balance recording a further growth of the Autopromotec fair, the biennial international automotive aftermarket exhibition organized together with Airp (Italian Tire Retreaders Association). The significant increase in institutional relations and a greater propensity to lead its members towards a digital revolution is affecting the national automotive scenario. Responsible for all this is Mauro Severi, who has led Aica for the last four years alternating his commitment as advisor on the Board of Directors of the Nexion group. "We are witnessing a profound technological evolution that is changing the identity of the aftermarket – says Severi; we need companies committed to investing in research and development in order to remain competitive in international markets. According to the research company MarketsandMarkets, between now and 2025 there will be a global turnover growth of 41%, much of which will be linked to innovations such as autonomous driving, development of artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, and predictive diagnostics". Innovations that companies, especially those in the aftermarket, are called upon to cope with if they wish to maintain their technological advantage. "Our members have been investing in digitization for a long time now, and export data show that 80% of our production ends up outside Italy - continues Severi - Our sector is not only contributing significantly to the Italian trade balance, but represents a real benchmark for the ability to adapt new technologies and digital solutions to our equipment and services". Graduated in architecture at the University of Florence, prior to entering the automotive world, Severi worked for several years with construction companies and in his own professional studio, carrying out several projects both in the field of contemporary architecture and in renovating and caring for important artistic monuments such as the cathedral and the municipal theatre of Reggio Emilia as well as setting up the Umbria National Gallery in Perugia. In 1989 he joined the board of directors of Corghi s.p.a., and in 1990, a further expansion led the company to acquire other businesses and create the Nexion s.p.a. group. An industrial player that currently employs one thousand five hundred workers with an annual turnover of almost three hundred and fifty million euro, 75% of which comes from exports. Severi's commitment to the industrial world led him, in 2014, to be elected president of Unindustria Reggio-Emilia - a position he held until 2018 - while in 2015 he was appointed to lead Aica.

A role that prompts him to visit a significant number of trade fairs, analyse new trends related to the world of mobility, promote initiatives in favour of the association’s members and raise the level of awareness towards the needs of the aftermarket supply chain, calling to action the institution responsible for regulatory frameworks, industrial policies and anything related to investments in infrastructure and scientific research. "In our country, industrial policies and investments are not exactly a priority, especially in terms of innovation," Severi points out, "we often see only the negative side of change, thus failing to take advantage of the opportunities it offers. The newest cars are a world of their own, thanks to new technologies and advanced driver assistance systems. Today we need new skills, largely digital, therefore it is vital that training continues, shaping the professional skills of the future, providing real job and growth opportunities for future generations".

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