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July/August 2019

Autopromotec, mission to China

Dino Collazzo

The expedition will involve a group of after-sales companies that will participate in the Automotive Aftermarket Guangzhou exhibition from October 11 to 13.
For some time now, the automotive aftermarket industry has been looking, with growing interest, towards Asian 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 alone), and has its economic engine in China, would have a double effect: increasing business volumes, and revenues, especially for companies with a clear global outlook, and getting the rest-of-the-world’s economy moving again. It is precisely on the basis of these evaluations that the top management of Autopromotec, the biennial international automotive equipment and aftermarket trade show, have decided to promote a mission in the Asian country with a group of Italian companies active in the automotive after-sales industry. This will happen during the Automotive Aftermarket Guangzhou exhibition, which will be held from October 11 to 13 in the province of Guangdong. The purpose of the expedition is to promote economic relations between companies in both countries. An opportunity to analyse in detail the local market and evaluate the possibility of creating new trade routes. In fact, thanks to an agreement between BolognaFiere and its Chinese partner Sinomachint, a state-controlled industrial group, the companies taking part in such initiative will have the opportunity to carry out their exhibition activities and meet, at the same time, buyers and producers operating in one of the most industrialised areas of China: the province of Guangdong. "A not to be missed opportunity for any company wishing to make itself known in China - comments Renzo Servadei, CEO of Autopromotec -. China is known as one of the leading manufacturers of budget components and equipment, but it is also a market where 26 million new vehicles are registered every year, equal to Europe and the United States put together. This means that there is a need for high levels of technology in sectors such as maintenance and assistance, typical of our exhibitors".

The Asian market
Analysing data on 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), a market that, according to an ANFIA study, apart from the recent down turn, has witnessed a 71% increase in sales over the last decade. The lion’s share, as expected, fell to the Chinese market, which alone absorbed about 28 million vehicles, of which, 23.7 million were cars. Such figures represent, for those operating in the automotive aftermarket industry, an opportunity to review their investments and commercial strategies, at least as far as exports towards China are concerned. The Chinese economy, in fact, although registering a mild slowdown due to slackening global demands and commercial tensions with the United States, remains the largest market in the automotive sector. In 2018 its production system recorded an annual growth rate of 6.6%. Certainly not one of its best performances, given that up until recently the country’s growth was consistently measured in double digits. However, these are just a few clouds in an otherwise clear sky. Current data, although certifying a contraction, still show that the Chinese economy is expanding far more than its European counterpart. The idea that China could become an important end market for our aftermarket industry, especially high-end products, is also linked to a series of internal changes: rising incomes, increasing urbanization and the rise of new trends inspired by Western models. 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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