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July 2023

Face to face with the protagonists of the future of mobility

Francesca Del Bello

In an interview that anticipates Futurmotive - Expo & Talks, Luca Magnotta, TEXA's Garage Equipment and Telemobility General Manager, talks about ecological transition, access to data and the value of training
1. Futurmotive - Expo & Talks intends to represent, through a large exhibition area and a comprehensive conference programme, the ecological transition from an economic, environmental and community sustainability perspective. You have taken up the challenge: what does the ecological transition represent for your company and your proposals to the market? What are the challenges and opportunities on your horizon?

The ecological transition is something that no one can now, quite rightly, ignore, but which must lead to real change worldwide, not just in Europe. Of course, this cannot be an immediate transition, as it will take a few decades for vehicles with internal combustion engines to be gradually replaced by a new fleet of electric and hybrid cars. This represents a challenge for the automotive service sector, which will have to service a heterogeneous fleet for many years.
TEXA is organised into three business lines: Garage Equipment, Telematics and e-Powertrain. In all three we have products that contribute to environmental sustainability, for example our devices for monitoring vehicle emissions, but also our telematics and fleet management line, which, by constantly monitoring vehicles remotely, allows fleet managers to quantify consumption and actual emissions with great precision. Also in the e-Powertrain field, with innovative inverters and electric motors we are establishing ourselves as a Tier 1 supplier for manufacturers who will produce new electric and hybrid-powered vehicles. Our approach to sustainability, however, does not stop there. In fact, TEXA has researched and proposed solutions to mitigate both the environmental impacts of its products, as well as those related to processes, by implementing efficiency and optimisation measures at its installations. Confirmation of this sustainable path came with the achievement of ISO 14001:2015 certification, a standard that sets out the requirements that a virtuous environmental management system must have. This will allow TEXA to continue to design and build innovative products, making the most of people and the economic fabric, at both local and national level, while respecting the environment that provides TEXA with the resources to operate with a view to total customer satisfaction.

2. When talking about diagnostic equipment, one cannot help but think of the big topic of access to and management of technical data - hotly debated at the moment and the focus of one of the panels at Futurmotive Talks. If the regulatory perimeter of the Data Act is a good starting point, the trade associations are firmly calling for a specific declination of the text for the aftermarket sector. For a company such as yours that deals directly with these aspects, what value does such a law have for the sector?

The data law is certainly a good place to start. It is crucial, from our point of view, to be able to ensure at all times that there is no disproportion between the interests of manufacturers, who want to hold information from vehicles and protect them from potential cyber attacks, and the interests of independent aftermarket operators, who must be able to freely but legally, safely and professionally work on their customers' vehicles even in the presence of forms of protection during diagnosis. TEXA has also been active in this area for some time and has already reached important agreements with numerous car makers, with more to follow, enabling mechanics using its solutions to gain authenticated, simple and secure access to diagnosis.

3. Professions revolving around the maintenance sector are increasingly clustering around profiles with specific skills in IT and electronics: the keywords, also in this sector, are becoming digitisation, connectivity, big data and - by extension - cybersecurity. What are your predictions regarding new core competencies for the sector? How will the sector manage to equip itself with these new skills?

In a dynamic and ever-changing environment such as that which is characterising the automotive sector, it is inevitable that the companies within it are receptive and ready to face the changes taking place. For all players in this sector, from garages to companies like ours, this means investing in the search for talent that can respond to the new demands of the market. As far as we are concerned, for some years now we have been running an ambitious recruiting programme through the creation of what we have called TEXA Academies. This activity, focusing on topics such as cybersecurity, data protection, product certification, software development, user experience and user interface design, proved to be very successful and allowed us to discover, train and hire dozens of talents from all over Italy. Since 2021, we have already started seven Academies at our Headquarters and the recruitment rate at the end of the course is around 84.6%.

4. The training of new operators, or the updating of the knowledge of already experienced operators, takes on a centrality that is perhaps unprecedented in the history of the sector. The investment that your company dedicates to training is clear: what does this segment represent within your strategy?

For TEXA, training is certainly a key aspect, in which it has always invested heavily. This is why, back in 2004, it set up TEXAEDU: a company department that, on the one hand, develops specialised training courses, both in-person and online, for workshop technicians who use its solutions, and, on the other hand, pursues an ambitious educational path within high schools (especially C.F.P. (Vocational Training Centres) and I.P.S.I.A. (State Vocational Institutes for Industry and Crafts)) dedicated to students who want to specialise in Mechatronics 4.0. Today, there are 60 TEXAEDU Academies in as many high schools throughout Italy, and every year we develop a comprehensive programme of courses for all players in the repair world, enabling them to cope with the changes in the automotive world and to use TEXA equipment to the best of their ability, through full knowledge and understanding of all available functions. The TEXAEDU project aimed at schools turned out to be so interesting that it led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education in June 2004. To further motivate students, creating opportunities for growth and comparison, the TEXA Diagnosis Contest, a national competition reserved for schools in the “TEXAEDU Academy” educational programme, was established in 2009. Each year, the two best students from each school participating in the project are invited to the TEXA headquarters in Monastier di Treviso together with their teachers, to compete in an exciting competition of theoretical and practical tests and win the title of “Diagnostic Technician 4.0”.

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