At the “Africa and us” conference, organized in Rome by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Limes magazine, FCA and CNH Industrial addressed their long-established presence in Africa, presenting innovative technologies and products for the sustainable development of the African continent.

Turin, 10 November 2016

Today in Rome, at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI/MI: CNHI) participated in the conference “Africa and us. Common challenges and prospective outcomes in light of the African Economic Outlook 2016" during which OECD – the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – presented its 2016 report on the African continent.

The seminar was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with the presence of the Vice Minister Mario Giro, and the geopolitical Italian magazine Limes, with its Director, Lucio Caracciolo, acting as the moderator. Numerous Italian and foreign authorities also participated, with representatives from some of the main African countries, and the Director of the OECD Development Center, Mario Pezzini.

FCA and CNH Industrial were represented, respectively, by Fabrizio Cordoni (Head of Sales and Marketing for Africa at FCA) and Michele Ziosi, Head of Institutional Relations for the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific) regions, who both spoke at the conference.

Cordoni covered many topics during his speech: after an introduction about FCA's long-established presence in Africa with many instances of success, he spoke about the characteristics and evolution of the various local markets. “FCA is able to respond to the various needs of a diversified, strongly growing market, such as Africa, with products that are specifically designed for those markets and that meet the various needs for mobility. Our models were designed for customers who travel on unpaved, rough roads and in the desert, for company managers and families who are becoming interested in individual mobility for the first time. We also have the Fiat Professional range, which meets the needs for urban and extra urban mobility as well as professional mobility".

With regard to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' future activities in Africa, Cordoni ended his speech by affirming that “FCA's worldwide development philosophy is to invest in territories and in local communities by creating global development strategies, training personnel and enlarging its commercial network. A winning example of this approach arrives from Brazil: long-term cooperation with regional and governmental authorities has made it possible for FCA to become the market leader in the country with PRESS RELEASE more than 480,000 vehicles sold in 2015 and with highly technical plants that meet the highest quality standards. We are convinced that this approach can be extended to Africa for its future growth.”

Michele Ziosi began his speech by commenting on the 2016 African Economic Outlook: “Africa is certainly growing and is offering important opportunities in many sectors, from infrastructure to transport, from agriculture to energy. However, challenges still exist. Two thirds of sub-Saharan populations live without electricity and in precarious environmental conditions; furthermore, pollution, due to the use of energy sources such as wood and coal, is still very high and is among the causes of these precarious environmental conditions, with damage to health. These situations will become even more critical if you consider that, according to the demographic projections of the UN, by 2035 Africa will have doubled its population, passing from one to more than two billion inhabitants. In order to face these challenges, we can first sustain food production through the targeted development of agricultural mechanisation in order to increase crop yields and reduce waste and losses. Just as important is more sustainable growth in mobility, for the transport of people and goods”.

Actions that are also possible due to the deeply rooted presence in the continent of companies such as CNH Industrial. With its various brands, in fact, the company has a wide sales network that it covers – with products such as commercial vehicles, quarry vehicles and construction equipment (Iveco, Astra and Case Construction Equipment respectively), agricultural machinery (Case IH and New Holland Agriculture), power generators (FPT Industrial) and civil protection vehicles (Magirus) – almost all African countries, in addition to numerous production facilities. There are assembly plants for various Iveco commercial vehicle ranges in Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia, whereas Case IH and New Holland agricultural machinery is assembled in Ethiopia and Sudan.

CNH Industrial is already engaged in various projects that support local communities: “Safe schools” in South Africa, to guarantee increased road safety for more than 1,100 children who go to the Isikhokelo elementary school in Cape Town; “1,000 gardens in Africa” for the creation of sustainable agricultural models, with the donation of an Iveco vehicle to herders in the Karrayyu community in Ethiopia; “Water management” in Tunisia, for improving the water collection and irrigation systems in the country; TechPro2 in Ethiopia and South Africa, for the technical-professional training of young people and their insertion in the working world.

These examples of direct support are part of the wider strategy of FCA and CNH Industrial to support the African community, as summed up by Ziosi: “We are investing to seize the local potential and to develop it, committing ourselves not only to working in Africa, but above all with Africa”.