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On a mission for the automotive aftermarket

Autopromotec China


A group of after-sales companies will participate in the Guangzhou Auto Aftermarket trade fair in China. The purpose of the expedition promoted by Autopromotec is to promote economic relations between Italian companies in the sector and their Asian counterparts.

Dino Collazzo

The automotive aftermarket industry keeps looking towards far east markets. The growing demand for components, machinery and equipment from countries in the Asia-Pacific region is prompting many European automotive companies to rethink their business strategies. Being able to access a market that absorbs half of the world's demand for motor vehicles (58.2 million in 2018) with China as its economic engine would have a double effect: greater business opportunities for companies that focus on a global approach and pushing our economy out of its current stagnation. It is precisely on the basis of these evaluations that the organizers of Autopromotec, the biennial international automotive equipment and aftermarket trade show, have decided to engage in a trade mission in the “country of the dragon” with a group of companies active in the automotive after-sales industry. The Auto Aftermarket Guangzhou exhibition, which will be held from October 11 to 13, 2019 in the province of Guangdong, represents the perfect opportunity. The purpose of the expedition is to promote economic relations between Italian companies in the sector and their Asian counterparts. The chance to acquire a deeper knowledge of the local market and evaluate the possibility of establishing new trade routes. In fact, thanks to an agreement between BolognaFiere China and its Chinese partner Sinomachint, a state-controlled industrial and metallurgic group, the companies taking part in this initiative will have the opportunity to carry out their exhibition activities, meeting, at the same time, buyers and producers operating in one of the most industrialised areas of China: the province of Guangdong. "Making your company known in China could be a winning move - comments Renzo Servadei, CEO of Autopromotec -. China is known as one of the leading manufacturers of low-cost components and equipment, but it is also a market where 26 million vehicles are registered every year, equal to Europe and the United States put together. Clearly, then, as far as car maintenance is concerned, there is a need for high levels of technology, common among our exhibitors.


The Asian market

Analysing data on the global demand for motor vehicles in 2018, out of 97 million units sold worldwide, 60% was absorbed by the Asia-Pacific region (58.2 million). This is a market that, despite the recent downturn, witnessed a 71% increase in sales over the last ten years, according to an ANFIA study. The lion’s share, obviously, went to the Chinese market, which alone absorbed about 28 million vehicles, 23.7 million of which are cars. Figures that, for those who work in the aftermarket sector, means having to rethink investment strategies and commercial policies: especially as far as exports to China are concerned. The Chinese economy, in fact, despite a recent down trend, mostly due to lower global demands and commercial tensions with the United States, remains the largest automotive market in the world. In 2018, its production system recorded an annual growth rate of 6.6%. Not one of its best performances, seeing that, up until recently, the Asian country was growing in double digits. But these are just a few clouds in the otherwise clear sky of the “celestial empire”.  The data, although certifying a contraction, still show an economy that expands more than the unified EU market, where growth is rather slow if not stagnant. The idea that China could become an outlet market for the aftermarket industry, especially for high-end products, is also linked to a series of internal changes: higher incomes, growing urbanization and the emergence of new trends inspired by a Western model. These factors are pushing the Chinese market towards new consumption patterns and greater awareness about the quality of goods and services that can be purchased. Capitalizing on such changes, the Italian aftermarket industry could carve out an important role for itself, although significant investments and the ability to create a system are needed. Export data for automotive parts and accessories indicate that in 2018 Italian exports towards China amounted to 453 million euro. Pocket change if compared to other European countries such as Germany (4.4 billion), France (2.4 billion), the United Kingdom (1.7 billion) and Spain (1.5 billion). Hence, it is high time for the second European manufacturing powerhouse to oil its wheels, at least in the automotive sector. And to do so, the country needs new investments and industrial plans, new professional skills, a reshuffling of its working environment and the desire to support projects and initiatives aimed at taking our National supply chain into a global future.   

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