THE ITALIAN TRADE AGENCY AT THE SEMA SHOW & AAPEX 2021
Promoting trade with Italy in the automotive aftermarket
Together, AAPEX and the SEMA Show shine a spotlight on the vast automotive aftermarket — more than a $1.6 trillion global industry. In November 2021, both shows resumed in-person shows in Las Vegas following the interruption due to COVID-19. The Italian Trade Agency had representative exhibits at both shows.
Michael Cappiello is a Trade Analyst for the automotive sector at the Italian Trade Agency, part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy. His office, based out of Chicago, Illinois, is part of a widespread network of overseas ITA offices tasked with providing information, assistance, consulting, promotion and training to Italian small- and medium-sized businesses, and promoting the attraction of foreign investment in Italy.
At AAPEX and the SEMA Show, the ITA’s mission promoted business with the United States, particularly with a focus on the automotive sector. Goals include helping businesses find distributors, agents, manufacturers’ representatives, end users (to source and buy from Italy), assistance with site selection and potential factories for eventual manufacturing in the U.S., incentives, hiring and more. To help bridge any cultural gaps, the ITA also assists with marketing materials and social media. To accomplish these goals, the ITA partners with regional entities and different states.
At the ITA pavilions at AAPEX and the SEMA Show, several Italian companies were represented. For example, FACET (www.facet.eu) has designed, manufactured and distributed a wide range of automotive spare parts since 1946. Their 4,500 spare parts range from sensors to thermostats, ignition components to switches, and have a particularly high coverage of the European, Japanese and Korean brands.
Mazzoni (www.e-mazzoni.it) has expanded its product range into products for the industrial cleaning market. Today it ranks among the largest manufacturers in the world of high-pressure washers, pumps, scrubbers and sweepers., with 65% of its production destined for foreign markets. Working with the Italian Trade Agency has provided Mazzoni with tools and resources to enter into the U.S. market and export their products. Addressing such considerations as the language barrier, the ITA helps with the necessary documentation, finding companies in the U.S. to work with (for example, transportation), and more.
Mazzoni had a representative sampling of their products on display. I was particularly intrigued with a cutaway of one of their standard pumps — a product that many companies make and sell in high volumes.
What sets Mazzoni apart from other companies is that they especially focus on quality, with a tendency to over-engineer their products for longevity. For example, they make some of the bolts and the ceramic pieces inside the piston of their pumps larger than they need to be, so that they are less prone to failure.
These pumps can be integrated into car washing systems, or they can be used in various models and sizes of standard commercial, industrial and residential pressure washing equipment.
They also manufacture ‘hot boxes’ that are designed to heat the water in pressure washing equipment. Hot water helps to break down and disperse grease faster than cold water will, resulting in less water usage.
Autopromotec is billed as the most specialized international exhibition of automotive equipment and aftermarket products. Autopromotec will be held May 25 to 28, 2022 at the Bologna Trade Fair Center in Bologna, Italy. It is anticipated that over 1,600 companies will be represented, with well over 100,000 visitors from throughout the automotive industry. For more information, visit www.autopromotec.com
Coming up very soon, in January 2022, the Italian Trade Agency will be at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, in the Italian Pavilion in Eureka Park. At CES their participating companies’ focus will be on Italy’s growing investment in digital ventures to unleash the full potential of IoT (the Internet of Things) and 5G. 5G infrastructure in Italy is creating new markets for smart cities, e-health, intelligent transport, education, and entertainment and media. With that in mind, the ITA plans to host a selection of Italian startups dedicated to 5G and IoT. I look forward to visiting them there, and sharing what I learn with you.
To learn more about the Italian Trade Agency and the businesses that they represent, visit www.ice.it