Automotive: mildly recovering sector calls for planning
Infrastructure and green mobility policies need to be re-thought
The creation of a joint table where all social partners can work to identify shared solutions, because the automotive sector "must be prepared for the changes that may occur in the coming months in the event of a long awaited recovery. Never before has it been so important to look to the future in order to plan activities". This is what emerged from the recent meeting between the Minister for Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, and the general secretaries of Filt Cgil, Stefano Malorgio, Fit Cisl, Salvatore Pellecchia, and Uil Trasporti, Claudio Tarlazzi. The Minister assured all parties that an internal restructuring in currently underway, as evidenced by the creation of a department dedicated to long-term planning and network systems, designed to overcome the historical distinction between infrastructure and transport. During the meeting, Giovannini underscored the crucial role played by social partners and civil society as a whole in redesigning policies relating to infrastructures and mobility, in line with the guidelines chosen by the European Union, oriented towards economic, social and environmental sustainability as the basis of the Green Deal, and with the new structure of the ministry.
"We are glad that we shared the need for a constant and periodic discussions on transport, - was the joint declaration of both General Secretaries Malorgio, Pellecchia and Tarlazzi – and the meetings will continue on a fortnightly basis. We have asked that continuity be guaranteed on the processes of reform of the sector started by the previous government, from the local public transport sector, where a serious reform is needed to overcome the corporate dwarfism of the sector which has more than a thousand companies, promoting national policies, such as the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and unlock the national contract, given the significant contributions from which the Local Public Transport Sector benefits". In the meantime, while registrations are falling, production in the automotive industry, despite the Covid crisis, is growing, confirming a positive trend. As reported by Anfia, the sector at the beginning of 2021 grew a total of 2.3%. However, we must recall that 2020 scored a dismal -21%.
Looking at the individual sectors of the industry, the production index of motor vehicles marked the seventh consecutive positive change on an annual basis with an encouraging +13.5% for motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers. Vehicle and engine parts, components and accessories decreases by 2.3%. Aftermarket sales, on the other hand, are down 14.4% in 2020 compared to the previous year, which closed at +1.6%. The heavy double-digit drop in the first (-12.4%) and, above all, in the second quarter (-43.4%), which bore the brunt of the pandemic crisis, was followed by a third quarter in slight recovery (+1%), while the fourth quarter saw a new decline, albeit smaller than at the beginning of the year (-3.7%). This is according to the data from the Aftermarket Barometer - internal statistical survey of the Anfia Components Group - which provides an indicative trend of the automotive spare parts market on a monthly basis, both at consolidated level and at the level of individual product families.
Turning to the industrial vehicle market, the gap widens between heavy duty vehicles, which grew by 21.8%, and light transport vehicles with -16.1% according to data from the Unrae Studies and Statistics Centre, based on registration data provided by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility. "February figures - comments Paolo Starace, Chairman of the Unrae Industrial Vehicles Section - appear to be at odds with trends in the real economy, in that industrial production and business confidence are stifled and there is no corresponding market downturn. First and foremost, it is significant that the heavy duty vehicle sector is showing encouraging signs, while light vehicles continue to suffer. In order to explain this phenomenon we must examine the evolution of the sector: recent studies on the size of road haulage companies in Italy demonstrates that for some years now, there is an increase in the percentage of medium-large enterprises over smaller ones".