A Taste Of Italy In Indy
Dealer Expo Plays Host To Italian Trade Association
Last fall the world’s largest powersports trade Expo featured a changing of the guard as long-time Milan show director Costantino Ruggiero was replaced by Pier Francesco Caliari. After calling the shots at the Espozione Internazionale Ciclismo e Motocislismo (EICMA) for more than 25 years, not to mention serving as the secretary general for the Italian Trade Association ANCMA, Costantino was friends with industry folks worldwide and historically had come to the Dealer Expo in Indy to meet with the U.S. media to tell us some of the big things in store for the Milan show. This year, Vince Marazita had to host the U.S. media function in his role as the ANCMA rep for the U.S. as well as being the coordinator for the U.S. Pavilion at the EICMA show.
“Unfortunately Dr. Caliari had a scheduling conflict and couldn’t make,” said Vince. “So you will have to take my word for what is happening for 2011,” he joked. Fortunately Vince has been working with most of the media types and the Italian dignitaries since his years at the Italian Trade Commission in Los Angeles. In addition to serving as intermediary and host, Vince was also an exhibitor at the Dealer Expo, since he is the U.S. agent for Italian company ProGrip, so he is more than familiar with how the shows work, the questions the journalists might have and what it means in the big picture.
BIG picture is right! Although there is no question that the Dealernews International Dealer Expo is the highlight of the year for American industry types, it is not quite in the same league as EICMA in terms of longevity (2011 marks the 69th edition of the EICMA show) or sheer size! The Milan show is the world's largest powersports show and it is literally 20 times the size of the U.S. Dealer Expo, occupying nearly 50,000 square meters of exhibit space (the size of eight giant airplane hangers), plus an additional 85,000 sq/meter outdoor demo area, complete with full size race tracks added on. Inside the show halls, there are giant pavilions from all the OEMs and more than 1,157 aftermarket exhibitors. There were more than half a million attendees (512,358 to be exact) from 114 different countries and counting the U.S. media delegation, there were 2,104 accredited journalist on hand for the 2010 show… Like we said, it is a little bigger than the Dealer Expo in Indy!
Even though Dr. Caliari couldn’t make it, Vince was his usual wealth of information regarding the Milan show and impromptu Italian language lessons! He notes that the 2011 show is going to have an even bigger custom bike area in the same building as Harley-Davidson and the U.S. Pavilion this year. Speaking of the American Pavilion it was expanded to a double-decker in 2010 and should be even bigger in 2011. “With the price of gas going up, the motorcycle market is expected to gain some ground this year,” he said. “There is also going to be a ‘Green Planet’ area of the show highlighting the hybrid and electric vehicles.” Last year, American-based Brammo was a big part of the U.S. Pavilion and it looks like Zero is also interested in being at the Milan show in 2011. In fact, Zero’s marketing manager Scot Harden dropped in to see Vince’s presentation to the media in Indy.
Electric vehicle or conventional gas-power, motorcycle or ATV, scooter or Side-By-Side, Milan simply has more of everything on display… and we haven’t even touched on the aftermarket yet! Italy has been a world leader in riding gear from head to toe with helmets (AGV, Nolan, Suomi just to name a few) to boots (Alpinestars, Gaerne and Sidi). “What do I need to say to convince you to cover the Milan show,” asked Vince? For those skeptics that need more convincing Vince did note that the website has been revamped and it is in English as well, so check out www.eicma.it for more details on this year’s EICMA show. Be sure to check out the new ad campaign featuring famous motorcycle folks as knights!
The Green Planet: This is the area reserved for hybrid and electric vehicles and is evidence that the two-wheel world is taking action to protect the environment. The future of mobility, including two-wheel mobility, will be GREEN, so as to minimise pollution and to make use of alternative energy sources. Many Exhibitors have been working for years to develop new solutions along these lines and at EICMA we shall see the products already present on the market and many prototypes.