AutopromotecEdu hosts IAAM13 conference

Leading European aftermarket trade associations Aica, Anfia, Airp, Clepa, Egea, Feda, Federpneus, Figiefa met at the IAAM13 conference that ran as part of the AutopromotecEdu section of the recent Autopromotec exhibition. IAMM13 focused on providing companies and professionals operating in the aftersales business some foresight of trends and developments of the aftermarket sector in Europe and a number of strategic countries, such as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), threreby offering them the opportunity to find new international channels for their sales and marketing activities.

With BRIC countries now boasting important car manufacturers, the theme was that it has never been so important to understand and interact with these markets. Joseph Frank, the former aftermarket director at CLEPA, an association gathering the main spare part and component manufacturers of the European automotive industry, acted as moderator.

In his opening speech, Giorgio Cometti, president of AICA (Italian Garage Equipment Manufacturers Association) emphasised the strategic importance of the event, which provided equipment manufacturers with new business opportunities. This was followed by Frank’s speech titled “The political Framework for the European Automotive Industry and CARS 2020”, which outlined future European policies for the automotive industry.

François Passaga, president of GIPA – the firm specialised in aftermarket surveys with 25 offices all over the world, including in BRIC countries – then took the floor with a presentation titled “Brazilian Aftermarket trends”. According to Passaga’s detailed account of the aftermarket in the important South-American country, the number of vehicles in circulation, most of which are of the “flex-fuel” type, is constantly increasing, and so is the demand for maintenance services in the workshop – with clear benefits for all players in the aftermarket.

The second half of the morning started with a presentation by Pierre Fleck, CEO of Europart Holding, European leader in the distribution of truck and bus spare parts. Fleck discussed his post-sales experience in Russia, focusing on successful strategies as well as on the mistakes that must be avoided when approaching such a highly-structured market. The CEO suggested that the key to business success in the Russian market is having a local partner which could help understand local sales dynamics.

The morning event ended with two speeches on China and India, respectively by Wayne Xing of CBU China, publishing house and business intelligence firm headquartered in Beijing, and Les Parfitt of multinational business consulting firm TMG Advisory India. As Xing outlined, China currently represents the largest automotive market in a developing country, which is likely to be heavily affected in the future by the dramatic traffic and pollution levels characterising the Asian country. The speaker provided a number of suggestions on how to operate locally, suggesting the importance of collaborating with the Government in industrial and commercial projects. Finally, the presentation on India focused on local production, on the industrial districts where car manufacturing is more developed and on how the component industry is benefiting from the growth of the car market. The vast majority of workshops in India are independent, even though their number is decreasing in favour of OEMs. Parfitt concluded his talk by emphasising the growing demand for aftermarket services in the country.

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