Following the successful edition of Autopromotec Bologna, Andrea Boni, Director of N! Italy, and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Spare Group, a founding partner in NEXUS, offers an insight into the future of the aftermarket in his region.

How do you see the Italian aftermarket developing? Is consolidation having an effect?

The Italian aftermarket landscape is today composed of up to 450 wholesale distributors, 5,000 jobbers and around 80,000 workshops, which serve a fleet of about 34 million vehicles for an estimated turnover of 3.3B€ (at the wholesaler level).

The market is lead by 10 big wholesalers and/or distribution groups, and 440 small and medium-sized companies. Looking at this number, it is natural to think that consolidation in Italy is not just a trend but an inevitable necessary process, which can take place through different business models.

These include acquisition, as in the case of Autodis Italia or LKQ with Rhiag; geographical expansion, such as Cati and Demauto; and installation of large foreign distributors directly into the market, such as Intercars and Stahlgruber.  

The relationship Italian medium-sized companies have with big distributions groups is disadvantaged because of their purchasing power.

There are two main solutions for these companies:

  • 1 change their business model to move from being distributors to be retailers
  • 2 be part of the consolidation process by merging with other companies.

Within this framework, national trading groups are not yet prepared to face the trend and are still too focused on delivering services and collecting royalties in a traditional way. These organizations should be proactive, follow, and manage the process of consolidation by remaining independent, attracting interest and facilitate business relationship with global manufacturers.

Is the Italian aftermarket ready for the digital revolution?

In general, the digital Italian landscape is advanced and there are many innovative start-ups developing in the aftermarket business. However, I believe that despite the development, these new digital tools have not yet affected the buying habits of both the final consumer or the actors in the supply chain.

What can NEXUS bring to Italian distributors, both in the passenger and truck sectors?

NEXUS has a range of services that basically cover all the needs of Italian distributors. Some of them are already perfectly matched to our members’ activities, while others are being adapted to better fit with the market in line with its structure, with a strong focus on the NEXUS Academy training and benefits it can offer in the development of Italy’s truck business.

Please tell us something about you

My career in the automotive sector is extensive, having started in 1994 with the FIAT group dealing in spare parts for both Passenger Cars and Heavy Duty.