Home > Focus On
THE EFFICIENCY OF SASSUOLO’S CERAMIC TILE DISTRICT A NETWORK SYSTEM THAT THAT IS A SUCCSS ABROAD EVEN IN DIFFICULT TIMES
Originally it was the dream of Sassuolo's pioneers in ceramic tiling. Today it represents that additional element that has allowed an area of 145 square kilometres in the heart of the region of Emilia Romagna to become a powerhouse of innovation in the production of quality tiles. The creation of a network for the ceramic tile manufacturing lines of Sassuolo, capital of the historic district, has allowed it to make this leap forward. In effect, once producers realised that they had no competition, in terms of quality, they decided to invest in the ancillary industries sector. This has led to Sassuolo becoming a centre of excellence in the production of machinery for working ceramics, the management of ancillary services and above all in the field of applied research. This is enough to classify Sassuolo as the district for the tile cycle. The creators of this winning system-network can also consider themselves great innovators. They are the forerunners of all that is new in production but at the same time they remain open to new challenges and markets. While many sectors of Italian made products discuss improved export systems, Sassuolo is one step ahead with manufacturers who take on the challenge of creating manufacturing conglomerates that imitate those of the Emilia region, in countries that have not yet been penetrated, with the aim of being increasingly more present and improving relationships with abroad.
“The Italian ceramics industry” explains the President of Confindustria Ceramics (Confederation of Ceramics Industries), Franco Manfredini “now exports 80% of what Italy manufactures and it continues to show positive signs on foreign markets, even if we are seeing some signs of a slowdown in certain areas.” The phenomenon of manufacturing internationalisation, which in the field of ceramics has always been the bastion of high-intensity consumer markets, consolidates itself, thanks also to the expansion that involves different countries including Russia and the United States” Overall, the ceramic tile sector, bearing the manufacturing trade mark of Sassuolo, handled exports approaching €2.4 billion in June 2012 equal to a total of 198 square metres of tiles sold.
So much interest in the foreign market is generated by the product’s great appeal around the world. One need only think that non-EU markets are now exporting amounts which equal, in terms of turnover, the equivalent of EU countries. In the case of the former, turnover in June 2012 totalled €875 million, whilst for the latter it was just in excess of a billion euro. The new dawn for Italian ceramic tiles is increasingly becoming those countries beyond the borders of the EU where the total quantity of tiles exported equalled 70 million square metres (in the EU this figure is 78 million). In terms of expansion the turnover figure is overwhelming: +12.9% for non-EU countries, -1.4% for EU countries.
From the point of view of reference markets the United States leads the way with an export value totalling €202 million. The major thrust is instead coming from Africa and Oceania with €44 million and €32 million respectively. Even here the indicator for growth in the sector comes from the difference compared to June 2011: +17.9% for the USA, +16.5% for Africa and +20.4% for Oceania.
In Europe the steadiest growth is to be found in Belgium (+13.7%), followed by Germany (+9%). In a moment of crisis, therefore, Sassuolo's ceramic tile product continues to grow above all abroad, demonstrating anti-cyclical sales performances, in the same way that variations in price could also be described as being anticyclical: +5.6% in the first half of 2012 (€12.1 per square metre). These are important figures that are the result of the product’s quality and even more of those who, by coming up with creating a network operating system, most certainly got it right.