Tools for tomorrow’s mobility
Renewal of AICA board
The general meeting of AICA members confirmed Mauro Severi as president: "we still have a lot of work ahead of us to defend the competitiveness of Italian garage equipment manufacturers"
As a new global scenario looms on the horizon, the importance of trade associations and their activities as well as trade fairs in promoting Italian companies and products is becoming increasingly crucial: these were the main themes discussed at AICA’s 44th General Assembly (Italian Association of Garage Equipment Manufacturers), held last December at the Association’s headquarters in Anzola dell'Emilia. A meeting that traditionally welcomes, every four years, new corporate offices.
A challenging scenario for the entire sector
As usual, the meeting opened with a report by the president, Mauro Severi, who, at the end of his first term of office, highlighted the profound and rapid changes that have taken place in just four years. Starting from the international scenario, where talks of protectionism and trade barriers are replacing principles of globalization and free trade, compounded by some of the world's largest economies slowing down and the deterioration of several political scenarios. Hence, the concerns of countries like Italy, devoted to manufacturing in general but with an automotive industry that exports on average 80% of its production, appear to be fully justified. Such concerns grow even further due to a lack of any real vision and industrial policy in the country. On the other hand, Severi pointed out that initiatives, such as the Hyper-amortisation in favour of the so-called industry 4.0, aimed at enabling small and medium-sized companies in particular to invest resources in research and development, produced tangible results, with the association playing a vital role in convincing the MISE (Ministry of Economic Development) on the benefits for all the member companies, not only manufacturers but also end users who were able to renew their working tools replacing them with modern equipment. However, there will be plenty of opportunities for AICA to keep prodding the institutions in a number of areas; for example, the participation of the association at the crisis management table for the automotive sector set up by the MISE, is the perfect opportunity to emphasize that when we talk about "automotive system" we are not referring only to the making of vehicles, a sector that has witnessed a great contraction in Italy over the years, but also and above all to the production of equipment, components and spare parts, which represents the driving force behind the industry and is still able to generate wealth and employment. Job opportunity is a further cause of concern for AICA, as the vehicle repair and assistance sector has many job opportunities available to young people, but are not sufficiently advertised. The President also mentioned AICA’s commitment at European level as well as the very important role the Autopromotec trade fair is playing in the sector. The 2019 event was a great success and will continue to be a driving force for international development for all the companies participating in it.
AICA and EGEA side by side on international communication
Other talks were dedicated to Autopromtoec's future development and international campaigns. Emanuele Vicentini, global marketing consultant, spoke to the members about the potential for foreign development, recalling that the B2B business-matching project that took place during Autopromotec 2019, saw the presence of 30 international buyers. Vital in this regard was the ongoing collaboration with ICE - Agency for the Foreign promotion of Italian companies - which could be strengthened even further in the future. Moreover, the Autopromotec Follow Me project, which brings together all foreign initiatives under one umbrella, is set to start a series of promotional tours in Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, China and the United States in 2020. The Secretary General, Renzo Servadei, then summarized the main activities and news that will concern Autopromotec in 2020 and 2021. The collaborative spirit existing between the organizers and the Emilia-Romagna Region, has made it possible to plan several events in the area with the participation of Autopromotec at the next edition of the Motor Valley Fest in Modena, where much will be said about the importance of professional training. A further collaboration with Parma’s exhibition centre for the 2020 Conference is currently being considered, which will lead to the creation of an event focused on motorsport and technology transfer. The renovation work currently underway at the Bologna Show Grounds will bring several new features to the 2021 edition of Autopromotec, starting with the creation of a new large hall that will significantly increase the exhibition space available. Furthermore, a survey carried out among exhibitors and AICA members during the fair, went in the direction of a reduction in the duration of the event, with the closing on Saturday evening at 8.00 p.m., so as to still allow participation to events and exhibitions throughout Saturday. Finally, Servadei stressed the strategic importance of the collaboration with Auto Aftermarket Guangzhou, which will offer Italian companies important opportunities to get in touch with the most innovative representatives of the new mobility. Not to mention AICA’s numerous activities carried out globally through the European association EGEA, as Massimo Brunamonti, AICA consultant, explained in his report: as far as garage lifts are concerned, the publication of the revised EN1493 standard is scheduled for spring, which will now include the product life period. With regard to tire changers, the CEN standard on safety has been updated, while the EGEA standard for suspension tests has been completed, and now includes calibration and calibration instruments, and has been proposed to CITA (International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee) for its adoption; an informative video has been approved, aimed at making public decision-makers aware of the importance of such tests. The most important and demanding work left, however, still revolves around access to vehicle data, on which AICA and EGEA are fighting to ensure free access for independent operators and the highest digital security standards to protect the user.
AICA's corporate offices renewed: Severi confirmed as president
At the end of the 44th AICA Shareholders' Meeting, the companies present took part in voting for a new corporate Board of Directors. The new Board is now made up by: Fausto Manganelli (Butler), Andrea Carniel (Comec), Francesca Paoli (Dino Paoli), Antonio Verrillo (Govoni), Mauro Severi (Nexion Group), Franco Govoni (Ravaglioli) and Luciano Marton (TEXA). In accordance with the articles of the association, the Directors went on to define the corporate offices and confirmed Mauro Severi as Chairman of AICA, Franco Govoni as Vice-Chairman and Antonio Verrillo as Treasurer. A choice of continuity, therefore, as a reward for the hard work carried out in the last four years. Mauro Severi is thus entering his second term as President of the Italian Association of Garage Equipment Manufacturers, and commented: "I would like to thank the Councilors for the trust and support that I have never lacked in past years. For the next four years our association will have to work with the greatest commitment to cope with the significant challenges ahead. At a time when the Italian industry is going through a worrying drop in production, with few concrete prospects of recovery on the horizon, the automotive equipment sector must try to confirm its position among the protagonists of the great technological transformation that is sweeping across the automotive industry worldwide. Our sector - continues Severi - has long since begun to invest in digitization, and contributes significantly not only to the Italian trade balance, but represents a real benchmark for its ability to adapt new technologies and digital solutions to our equipment and services. However, we must never underestimate the fact that future vehicles will be a world of their own, with ground-breaking technologies and advanced driver assistance systems: as technology keeps developing in leaps and bounds, the entire automotive service chain will play a crucial role in the advent of a new mobility, based on safety, innovation and environmental sustainability.For this reason, it will be necessary to find suitable tools to guarantee investment capacity and technological competitiveness. AICA will not neglect looking for new relationships and partnerships with other Italian and international associations, in order to make the most of all the opportunities that this great change will offer us".