Italian Textile Machinery Producers Remain Competitive Globally

Italian Textile Machinery ProducersRemain Competitive Globally

Italian textile machinery manufacturers face challenges in the days ahead, including
fluctuation in demand and increased competitive pressure, according to Association of Italian
Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) Chairman Alberto M. Saachi. Saachi’s remarks were included
in his report on industry performance in 2002.Turnover in 2002 was 5 percent lower than in 2001 as
a result of lower demand both domestically and from main export textile markets, particularly the
United States and the European Union (EU). Sales to Asia rose, but were lower than
predicted.Uncertainties shroud an anticipated increase in U.S. and EU textile consumption, Saachi
said.“On top of this, the higher value of the euro compared to the dollar is penalizing industries
like ours that are heavily dependent on exports,”he said.Despite these challenges, recent ACIMIT
surveys indicate that Italian manufacturers remain competitive globally. The surveys cite the
industry’s dynamism and financial strength, exemplified by a gain in global market share, from 12
percent to 15 percent, from 1995 to 2001, while Italy’s main competitors lost market share.“Italian
textile machinery manufacturers have succeeded in implementing policies of differentiation based on
product quality and continuous improvement through constant innovation,” Saachi said. “Italian
business has also learned to pay more attention to customer service, and this has helped us escape
from the restrictive logic of price-based competition.”Innocenzo Cipolletta, Ph.D., also addressed
the issue, noting that escalating competition from countries with newly developed textile machinery
industries requires that Italian manufacturers increasingly stress technical innovation as a
distinguishing characteristic.

Fall 2003