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Ecomotive - Archive

11/03/2019
Ups and downs for the automotive industry

 Automotive economy

 

Mixed emotions as the supply chain looks for a way forward

Paolo Castiglia

Good news for the production of vehicle bodies, trailers and semi-trailers in November 2018 with a recorded increased of 1.1%, while parts and accessories dropped by 9.1%. In the first eleven months of 2018, the manufacturing index of vehicle bodies, trailers and semi-trailers increased by 7.3% while total orders for the automotive sector showed a downward trend, in October 2018, of 6.4%, due mainly to dropping exports, down by 13.5%, while orders from the domestic market decreased by 0.8%.

Looking at these data, it is easy to see how the automotive market scenario is currently characterized by ups and downs. The same, however, as we shall see, recorded positive results in the quarry and site vehicle segment, one of the country’s production jewels.

Going back to the Anfia data, in the first ten months of 2018, orders were down by 0.2%, with domestic orders decreasing by 1.1% and foreign orders rose by 1%. Dividing the figures by segment, these were the trend recorded in the first ten months of 2018: body manufacturing, trailers and semi-trailers grew by 15.3% (+21.4% on the domestic market, +5.8% on foreign market) and as aggregate the growth was 2.8% (+3% on the domestic market, +2.4% on foreign market). As far as body and engine parts, orders dropped by 10.5% (-13.3% on the domestic market, -7.4% on foreign market) and as aggregate the fall was restricted to -1.6% (-6.6% on the domestic market, +3.9% on foreign market). As already stated, lights and shadows.

On the other hand, as previously mentioned, things looked up for Italian quarry and site vehicle export, worth 2.187 billion euro. The first nine months of 2018 show an increase of 6.2% in value over the same period in 2017. These are the latest data from the Samoter-Prometeia Observatory, with the contribution of Unacea.

Italian made earthmoving machinery and equipment, represent the largest part of the orders from abroad, with a value of over 1 billion euro (+13%). This is followed by machines for the preparation of aggregates (382 million euro/+0.9%), drilling (276 million euro/-0.9%) and concrete mixers (211 million euro/-3%). Tower crane exports were also positive (196 million euro/+10.7%), while road building machines totalled 93 million euro, down 3.6 per cent.

In terms of destination markets, Western Europe confirmed its leading position in the third quarter of the year (915 million euro/+6.9%); in second place we find North America (287 million euro/+19.6%) followed by Central and Eastern Europe, including Turkey (275.8 million euro/+14%).

Turning again to the domestic market, from January to September imports of quarry and site machines and equipment reached 710.5 million euro, with a leap forward of 14.4% over the first nine months of 2017. The rebounding national building and quarry sector also contributed to the figures recorded. The data processed by the Samoter-Prometeia Observatory recorded a third quarter of the year with investments up 0.5 per cent.

And finally, here is a bit of good news not only from an economic point of view but also for the environment: Iveco established a small record in Italy thanks to its LNG powered Stralis, which rose from 463 units sold in 2017 to over 1,000 in 2018, thus representing more than 25% of the total sales of the Stralis NP on the Italian market. Thanks to the cleanest of all fossil fuels, Iveco's heavy-duty vehicles produces 90% less NO2, 99% less PM and, with bio-methane, 95% less CO2 than their diesel counterparts.

Sales volumes confirm once again that natural gas is the most effective alternative to diesel, ensuring free circulation even along routes subject to strict anti-pollution constraints and makes LNG vehicles a privileged category in countries such as Germany, where they have been exempted from tolls.

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