Interview with Plinio Vanini: the truths about future dealerships, expensive used cars and manufacturers producing less – News

The protagonist as usual at the last ADD, the owner of Autotorino and Vice President Federauto have clear ideas about what needs to be done to help the national car market and what are the trends. Farewell to the dealers could lead to farewell to the classic negotiations of new cars, with fixed prices of the agents. Do you earn twice as much by selling half cars or providing sharing cars for everyone? I do not believe in it. “” Used prices? a bubble ”

June 5, 2022

THATl group Autotorino, with its growing network, expanded to five regions in Italy, is today a national reference for car resale. Its president, Plinio Vanini, is also the deputy for Federauto: it was therefore necessary to ask him about some things that are inherent in the current phase of the car market in Bel Paese and beyond, given that the difficult transition also affects the supply chain and workers , as well as politics.

What is the strong theme of this edition of the twentieth anniversary of ADD, and how much could a retailer have imagined it just twenty years ago?The strong theme is the change in the distribution system of some manufacturers. From entrepreneurs who buy and sell goods, we move on to agents who trade according to fixed parameters – explains Vanini – no one had foreseen this over the years. We need to see if this model works, if it will appeal to the consumer and if it will put him in relation to a freer or smaller purchase “.

Agency? Not now more detail, what does this step mean for car dealers, and what do you mean in practice when you say that it would take longer to implement it correctly?

“In practice, a new vehicle would be bought at a fixed price throughout the country without the possibility of negotiation. A consumer who no longer goes to negotiate the price with a retailer, but only enters into a contract with an agent. Today, the consumer has a part in the negotiation, in this hypothesis much less: if you want to buy it otherwise no, the price is set with an agency mandate. You would no longer have the suggested retail price with the option to shop for the dealer. A commission is recognized internally, but it actually forces the concessionaire to shift a number of fixed, variable operating costs. While today it depends a lot on a dealer’s competencies and initiatives, the company’s success or not.

Tomorrow, in this hypothesis, everything depends only on the strategies of those who build the car. We will not be able to carry out certain forms of communication and certain activities delegated to Parliament. This is what is provided for in the Agency’s rules. The issue is complex and it takes time because a reduction in heavy fixed costs is unthinkable in a country that has precise rules in employment conditions. This thing is not done in a year or two. Federauto is not for or against a system, but we bring the arguments to be considered to the table. Who pays the bill? We can not bear the cost of the passage alone.

Guarantees for the supply chain dare you ask, as Federauto? “We asked the regulator to have new rules within the new regulation that enters into force, creating a path that guarantees the entire supply chain. By carrying out its activities in a different way, the dealer’s position becomes too weak, it is difficult to achieve results in the possible negotiations with the factories.It is not to oppose, but only to protect those who work in dealers today and the supply chain, for example car files.Today there are about 0.3,000 agencies in Italy, they can be significantly reduced “One account of the leap, one account of the transition as a passage to be made together”.

It seems difficult, but a conclusion must be found between manufacturers, regulators and dealers. “A team will necessarily be found sooner or later, but there must be a very responsible approach, not just numerically. We have two goals: to protect the customer and the workplaces in our companies. It is a question of responsibility towards those who have kept the sector alive to this day. “

Does local politics play a role in these issues compared to European politics?Yes, it has the ability to engrave. Supranational rules make room for national ones within certain limits. In the event of major changes, a superparty regulator is needed, which protects the supply chain as well as moves towards a world that is innovative. We are not against innovation and change, they must only be pursued responsibly, in a common way “.

The car dealer’s front is cohesive today, among those who work in already partially different ways (see news like Tesla, but not only)? “It’s not a theme about diversity, about followers. Federauto works for respect for the supply chain, for the environment and for the future of those who work in the automotive world. “

Incentives and homes

QHow satisfied are you with the incentives, or how would you hypothetically have them? The two thousand euros to be scrapped, are they not few? “We recognize the positive things about this government. They are stable incentives with a perspective over time, so thank you. With an open dialogue, we are moving towards more structured paths, I hope. Incentives are needed, but we can not do business against a “drug market”. We need to act on mechanisms that stabilize demand. I’m thinking of taxing the car. The VAT numbers must at least be in the same condition as others in Europe, ie tax deductions for company cars. A point to converge and from which we will have three effects: 1) a rapid replacement of vehicles for companies, which improves competitiveness, safety and the environment, 2) the growing opportunity to buy used vehicles 3) strategic planning of supply chain. So I’m not critical, we have to change our style and appreciate what we do. “

Satisfied with the car manufacturers’ initiatives, among everything that is happening these days?We know that the one who controls is the factory, the car manufacturers, we move then. Our job has always been to act as a buffer between them and many situations. With the new models, we will see how the control from the factories themselves will develop. We are not going to deal with a range of activities, or if we have to do it again, it will always be a paid job, that’s the theme. ‘

Fewer cars for everyone?

C.dare to weigh the houses that catch a gamma-ray cut in the smaller segments (eg A and B, in Italy, which have always been very strong, for individuals) to the detriment of the premium segment, which is under a lot of pressure, how it generates revenue, listening to their investor days in these years of declining volume?

“We can not say much, we are selling a product that someone else is building. We are not worried about the upstream part. Of course, we are looking for the best way to position what comes out of factories on the market. We will see if this smaller production model keeps the business sustainable, even on a social level. In recent years, a large part of the cost of the factories has been borne by the company. We will see when and if they can all return to work fully, for what products. Whether you make fewer, advanced cars or cars for everyone.

Also affects the tax wedge, the possibility of having a certain salary for the new car with a certain salary. My personal approach is that the car is freedom of movement and therefore must be something within everyone’s reach, or almost. It will be interesting to understand, I do not believe much in the efforts to convey a world of car sharing, car sharing for everyone. It will be true that the car is used a little in the course of a day, but everyone moves in the few moments, and it is not very interesting to have many cars to share in moments where it takes a little more. A bit like holiday rentals with several properties, but must always be done in August. I see a lot of demagoguery and a little pragmatism ‘.


C.How do you see the second-hand market after the incredible 2021 sprint that looks set to continue? “It’s the result of the lack of product. Since a normal market will resume, with production at the dilapidated level maybe in a year or a year and a half, I think the flow will repeat the levels as before. Today it is a bubble if it used costs like the new … “.

But to listen to certain statements related to the manufacturers’ accounts (“we sell less, but we always make money”) and see certain dynamics in volumes and prices: is that era not over when a new car after three or four years, it was half worth? “It controls the market, and in the medium, whether it likes it or not, someone will have to make quantities. I do not believe much in those who say they want to build half the cars and earn double that. “It would mean having rich or very rich customers who are not found in such large quantities. Someone in this competition wins and others lose if everyone wants the same kind of customer”.

In an ADD 2022 workshop, someone said that in five years, the industry and the downstream supply chain will change like in 150, do you think that is true?I listen without comment, and remember that our company has always been based on innovation, but the demagogic becomes dangerous … «.

Autotorino news

QWhat are the key projects you are pursuing in 2022, such as Autotorino, following the constant expansion of the network? “Probably the new work team working at 360 ° on training for the electrical. I am in favor of technology neutrality, but we are deeply involved in all aspects of our workforce and of our customers, in addition to what the individual houses offer on the individual products.

Then we have a very important new project that we are not communicating now because it is being defined: it will combine technology and physicality, we will present it before the end of the year.

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