BOLOGNA, Italy — Autopromotec welcomed more than 1,587 exhibitors and more than 100,000 visitors to the 2015 edition of the 26th annual biennial show, a 12.5 percent increase in the number of international companies attending the event in 2013.
A total of 663 exhibitors at the expo were foreign companies with China, Germany, Great Britain, Taiwan, Poland, United States, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Turkey comprising the nations that were most represented. Visitors to the show noticed a familiar organization of some companies into so-called “International representation zones” where some exhibitors were grouped by their respective nations.
For the show, the sprawling Bologna Fiere grounds were divided into 14 exhibition halls and four outdoor exhibition areas, including tires and equipment, parts and components, diagnostics and tools. Also featured was a car wash business area. Roughly 20,000 of the 100,000 visitors were from abroad. The show kicked off May 20 and continued through May 24.
May 20 and 21 saw the continuation of AutopromotecEDU 2015, a series of educational meetings and events. On May 20, the opening day of the show, the event began with an inaugural seminar titled, “The Recovery Is Already In Motion. A New Start For The Automobile Industry,” which included a keynote speech by Prof. Giacomo Vaciago of Universita Cattolica of Milan, as well as a debate on industry prospects. Vaciago discussed Italy’s economic crisis, which was exacerbated by tight credit markets as well as political infighting. It was “the worst thing that ever happened to any of us,” he said, adding that 2015 has brought improvement due to falling oil prices, a decline in euro price and the economic stimulus package arranged by the European Central Bank. “We have to face the real problems of reconstructing Italy and Europe in order to be sure that the recovery leads to growth. The hope is that this year is the right one in Europe to negotiate a new program for a common course to be resumed after the interruption of the crisis years.”
Thursday sessions included “Connected Vehicle – Connected Business: Opportunities and Challenges For The Aftermarket,” “After-Sales Approaches” and “The Future in the Workshop: Web, Mobile and Wearable Devices.”
During the show, the GiPA Excellence Awards, which are organized by GiPA Italia, were awarded to exemplary automotive aftermarket individuals or companies. This is the 13th time the awards have been given. This year, 11 awards were presented in seven categories: OES Network Satisfaction in the General Network and the Premium Network; Communication Strategy for IAM and OES; IAM Development Strategy of Components Dealers, Distribution and Manufacturing Chain; Environmentally Friendly; Commercial Dynamism; Coup de Coeur; and a Press Award.
The 2015 recipients were:
- OES Network Satisfaction – General Network : Toyota Motor Italia
- OES Network Satisfaction – Premium Network: Mercedes-Benz Italia
- Communication Strategy – IAM: Robert Bosch Italia
- Communication Strategy – OES: Ford Italia
- IAM Development Strategy – Components Dealers: Metelli SpA
- IAM Development Strategy – Distribution: Rhiag Group
- IAM Development Strategy – Production Chain: ANFIA
- Environmentally Friendly: Sogefi Group
- Commercial Dynamism: Groupauto Italia
- Coup de Cœur: Ing. Francesco Caracciolo
- Press Award: Dott.ssa Maria Luisa Cosso
Thursday, during the IAAM15 (International Automotive Aftermarket Meeting 2015), Gianmarco Giorda, the managing director of ANFIA (Associazione Nazionale Fra Industrie Automobilistiche), told attendees that despite the economic difficulties encountered in Italy over the past few years, “the aftermarket is among the few sectors able to maintain positive improvements.”
“In 2014, engine parts components and spare parts recorded a positive trend, probably due to a more cautious attitude on the part of motorists who cannot fail to replace worn-out parts which could seriously compromise the working life cycle of the vehicle,” Giorda said. He called the automotive aftermarket “the true protagonist of this exhibition.”