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With the Lombardy brand’s increasingly global spread, the dynamic MAK catalogue targets the rich Middle East and North African markets. A decisive start with participation in the next Automechanika in Dubai

Duilio Damiani

THE TRADITIONAL commercial outlets for alloy rims are becoming narrower? Then let’s widen our horizons!  This is what they must have said at MAK headquarters in Carpenedolo. Throughout its twenty-year history, this Brescia-based company has been able to constantly acquire interesting market shares at national as well as international level. Sales volumes of about 500,000 wheels a year, distribution in over 50 countries, worldwide, with revenues of around €30 million in 2011 and largely confirmed also for 2012 – despite an economic situation undermined by the crisis that is raging in most of the Old Continent. These are the numbers that identify a dynamic and well- consolidated Italian company,  now the main player in an ambitious expansion project.
A commercial expansion strategy aimed at surmounting the general downturn in Europe; it has already started in Gulf countries thanks to loyal local partners and will be given considerable impetus under the direct supervision of the parent company in the person of a commercial manager specifically assigned to this project. The eye on new markets involves countries in the vast Arabian peninsula and the continent of Africa, with interesting markets ranging from Iran to North Africa, from Egypt to Morocco. Markets that are very different with various and transversal characteristics, where the comprehensive MAK catalogue will be enhanced to include the second brands, like Matrix and MS Motorsport. Global products, starting from the most representative at the top of the range, dedicated to the demands of prosperous sultanates and the most prestigious customers in expanding areas, like Iran and Turkey, to the offer of greater distribution among consumers of the more popular ranges.  The top range will contribute to a positioning of value, while the more accessible ranges, with large numbers and entry-level products of 13, 14 and 15 inches for maximum distribution, will open up business in regions where roads are poorly maintained and the responsibility for mobility and safety is shifted squarely on to car wheels.

The ranges
The Brescia-based company’s wide range of wheels  - which will be presented in Bologna at the next Autopromotec,  the international fair dedicated to the automotive world from 22 to 26 May – is on today’s market with new products for 2013 that include 33 alloy wheels in numerous colours. All the new MAK wheels are homologated by TŰV and KBA (Germany’s Department of Motor Vehicles). The ever-increasing incidence of specialization is demonstrated by the new developments introduced this season: five products dedicated to as many specific automotive brands and only one general model.
Glancing through the catalogue, the eye is inevitably drawn to products with greater aesthetical impact, such as the new Fatale, a stylish model with a refined twenty-spoke design offered in Silver, aggressive Ice Black and Matt Black. With numerous applications between 17 and 19 inches, it has an EH2+ hump for runflat tyres. New products also include alloy rims dedicated to the current GTs, such as the München, specifically designed to meet the rules of aesthetics dictated by BMW and offered in a vast range of diameters from 17 to 20 inches. It responds to required characteristics from the Series 1 to the sporty M5. Naturally, as requested by the German company, also in this case the EH2+ hump is suitable for runflat tyres, the fixing holes will take original BMW bolts, and they come in three harmonizing colours – Silver, Chrome and Matt Black.
Still in Germany, along with products dedicated to the Mini (the 16” and 17” Jackie) and the Audi (the 16” and 18” Stadt), at the top of the range is the Rennen, a lighter weight, 18” and 19”  multi-spoke rim for Porsche supercars, shown in the catalogue in three finishes - Silver, Ice Black and Matt Black.

Share-saving niches
With the exception of some consolidated countries (see Germany) or rarities with strong growth (Norway and Russia, for example), the slump in aftermarket rims due to the general crisis in the automotive sector is, unfortunately, well-known. However, the situation has acted as a stimulus for the development plans of more farsighted companies. To cope with the general economic and commercial situation, MAK decided to aim at expansion in new markets abroad, such as North Africa and the Middle East, as well as at other sectors, the unsuspected harbingers of important shares.  These are, for example, vans, light trucks and, especially, caravans, for which MAK has reached an interesting agreement with the German company, Goldschmitt, one of the most important recreational vehicle fitters that wants wheels with design but also, and above all, with the technological content that will guarantee heavy loads on smaller wheels.

• Interfacing between two worlds
The delicate stage of MAK’s commercial expansion in the Far East has been entrusted to Yiad El Joulani, class of 1985, a young manager with a degree in economics from the University of Bergamo. With his dual Italian-Jordanian nationality and previous marketing experience in the alloy rims sector, there could be no one better for clear and immediate interfacing between the most specific commercial needs of the emerging North African and Middle Eastern markets that are so different to the more traditional markets in the west.  The numbers will confirm the quality of the work promoted by the Lombardy company, which believes participation in the most authoritative international fairs (Autopromotec soon and the upcoming Automechanika in Dubai) to be the ideal trampoline for wider and more strategic commercial distribution also in those markets that, until very recently, were considered less accessible than traditional markets.

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