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ITALIAN KITCHEN EXTRACTOR FANS CONSOLIDATE THEIR LEADERSHIP THANKS TO DESIGN


ITALIAN KITCHEN EXTRACTOR FANS CONSOLIDATE THEIR LEADERSHIP THANKS TO DESIGN Eight-hundred companies, 750 million euros in turnover, 3,200 employees. But, more importantly, 11 million exhaust fans manufactured every year. These are the figures for the Fabriano district, in the province of Ancona (www.distretti.org/cgi-bin/scheda-distretto.pl?id=104), the leading hub in the production of kitchen extractor fans. The district was born half a century ago thanks to Faber (www.faberspa.it), one of the top three global manufacturers of own-brand kitchen extractor fans, holding an international market share 12%.

The official birth date of the Fabriano district is 1958. Faber had kick started production three years earlier, specialising in the manufacture of plastics and polyester, but the production of kitchen extractor fans did not begin before that year. In the following decades, the business began to attract a series of companies resulting from successive spin-offs. Fabriano currently harbours the entire sector's supply chain, so much so that over 80% of fans sold in Europe and about a third of the international market share is produced in the city, located in the Italian region of Marche.

However, while many companies operate as 'third-party businesses', the Faber Group has pursued since its inception a strong brand strategy, clearly coupled with third-party manufacturing: 46% of the value of Faber's production is sold via own brands. A leader in the Italian market (where one extractor fan out of two is made by Faber), the company is present worldwide both with its own brand and with leading local brands, such as "Roblin" in France, "Mepamsa" in Spain and "Spar" in Argentina.

If the district began with Faber, it was the Elica Group (www.elica.com) - an operator in the kitchen extractor fan market since the Seventies - that brought the sector on the financial markets. The fellow Fabrianese company's debut on the Milan Stock Exchange dates from last November. Elica - with over 1800 employees - is not only the world leader in the manufacturing of exhaust fans and the first operator in the main European countries in terms of units sold. It also boasts a leading position in Europe in the planning, production and marketing of electric engines for extractor and heating fans for domestic use.

With over 5 million fans sold, Elica's market share in this sector is of approximately 44%, with a growing incidence in strategic areas such as the United States, Japan and Russia. Finally, Elica is progressively gaining a leadership position in the area of engines for domestic heaters in both Eastern and Western European countries.

Besides the Fabriano district, smaller hubs for extractor fan production have established themselves in the white goods district of the Italian north-east, in Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. But for all Italian manufacturers in this sector, at least insofar as regards own-brand companies, the strengths are the same: design, care in the selection of materials and use of advanced technologies. Kitchen extractor fans are no longer just an accessory: they are now a furniture element, luxury equipment which exemplifies Italian-made elegance and originality - even in the kitchen.


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