Auto maintenance, the sector holds up despite the pandemic

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In 2020, Italians were more concerned with keeping their cars well than buying new ones. It is the synthesis, perhaps a bit “brutal”, which is obtained by crossing the data of the Association of Consorzi Concessionari Motorveicoli (AsConAuto)which brings together 80% of the dealers in Italy and deals with the distribution of original spare parts, with those of the market.

Last year the association’s turnover was 625 million: “A decrease of only 10.33% compared to the previous year”, observes Fabrizio Guidi, president of AsConAuto and member of the Board of Directors of Federauto. The number one in the organization speaks of an “almost miraculous result in the face of the many dizzying falls that painfully mark the automotive sector and our economy “.

The downturn was almost a third of that of the market: “Our strength was substantial, higher than that of the rest of the automotive sector”, says Guidi. With 1.38 million new registrations, Italy lost 500,000 cars with a drop of 28% and returned to the levels of 2013. Covid-19 has evidently pushed Italians not to give up on maintenance.

“Our associative network demonstrates, once again, its resilience”, always underlines Guidi. The Association was established in 2001 with a twofold objective: to increase the sale of original spare parts and reduce fixed distribution costs. Over the years, the organization has already managed to distribute “branded” pieces (95 those sold) for over 5 billion euros, collecting more and more members over the years.

The Association is widespread throughout the territory: it has members in 94 provinces of 18 regions with 1,835 operational offices. The 945 dealers participating in AsConAuto are represented by 26 consortia and contribute to the turnover of 22,277 car repairers. On a daily basis, the more than 550 employees and collaborators of the Association travel more than 63,500 kilometers (over a lap around the equator) with 350 vans to deliver spare parts. Guidi allows himself a cautious optimism: “We are able to look at our work with renewed confidence in the start of a year that we hope will find normal situations again”.

Which, at least according to an investigation by the Autopromotec Observatory will wait for at least another five months. The survey, conducted on a representative sample of car repair shops in October, therefore before the new crackdown on activities and travel, 38% of operators expected a recovery with the summer, while 28% assumed a “normalization “Already in the second quarter. However, 2020 did not go badly for everyone: almost a fifth of the interviewees declared that turnover grew and 39% remained stable.

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