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AMAFOND Convention 2019: The current Situation described in clear Words

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Thomas Fritsch, Chief Editor

As usual, the traditional event was well attended and perfectly organized in the Villa Fenaroli in Rezzato, close to Brescia - but this year, the speakers have found very clear words on the situation of the foundry industry.

AMAFOND President MAURIZIO SALA: The automotive situation is making the industry suffer
The world economic context is without a doubt even worse than it was even a few months ago. For foundries and suppliers, there is an objectively deteriorated situation, both for those who work in the ferrous sector and for those working in the alloys sector. 

Today, world trade is slowing down. Just think of the substantial slowdown in German manufacturing and, consequently, in Italian manufacturing, which is closely connected as is the case in the automotive industry.

As for the automotive crisis, the numbers speak for themselves. Car production in Europe 10 years ago was 27%, while today it has dropped by 7 percent. With regard to Italy, the most recent industrial production data shows a significant slowdown in the domestic automotive sector.

The stakes are very high with regard to full electric and hybrid drive. China and Asia have a clear advantage thanks to the monopoly of essential components and raw materials for battery production, as well as the related technologies. Europe, in comparison, seems to just now be preparing appropriate countermeasures, but in the meantime we had to suffer the attempted 
murder of the diesel engine.

ROBERTO VAVASSORI, President of CLEPA ( European Association of Automotive Suppliers): Our chance is digitalization
It’s important to digitize the processes at the level of the machinery and systems.

Finally, we have put the process back in the center, but the problem is the limited resources available for managing the digitalization process.

To succeed in this process we must: 

  • use digitalization to create value chains; 
  • remember that being a small company is only a stage of growth and not a permanent condition;
  • strongly supervise legislative processes.

After years of strong growth (since 2010), the automotive market in Europe is experiencing a difficult period which is expected to last another couple of years. From 2021 on, there may be a recovery of the diesel. We will arrive at the autocrat guide in 20 years.

In a situation where large players increasingly cooperate, it is important to emphasize that these alliances are dictated by the technology available, by the reference markets and by the core business.

The praise of failure
Quite similar statemets were made by representitives of Microsoft and KPMG. In a world which is moving ever faster, digitalization is the key. The companies have to stay creative and brave in order to open horizons. This includes the praise of failure. Yes, it is better to risk making mistakes than to remain passive in the face of current and future challenges.

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