Italy's economy suffers from Covid-19

Maria Vittoria Falchetti know multiple facets of the crisis. You know what it's like to lose a loved one. Her father, Umberto died in March at Covid-19. And yo

Italy's economy suffers from Covid-19

Maria Vittoria Falchetti know multiple facets of the crisis. You know what it's like to lose a loved one. Her father, Umberto died in March at Covid-19. And you also know how it feels when a family is no longer allowed to produce company from one day to the other, 1200 jobs worldwide are in danger.

Falchetti is Marketing Manager and co-owner of MTA, an automotive supplier in Codogono. The small town in the Northern Italian Region of Lombardy acquired notoriety, because at the end of February, the first Patient in Italy has tested positive for Covid-19. The city was sealed off then, no one was allowed in, nobody out. MTA had to adjust like many other companies - the production temporarily.

"We were worried that we can no longer deliver to the car companies in Italy, in the whole of Europe," says Falchetti. MTA was allowed to make after a short break in the factory in Codogno more - at the beginning with 60 instead of 600 employees. The big Bang was, but the brief Pause, the uncertainty, the Waiting, clearly showed how fatal it can be if supply chains are interrupted.

"The supply chain must work perfectly. Day for day, hour for hour," says Falchetti, as she leads on this June afternoon by the factory. "Our customers can relate to the product we deliver to you by any other manufacturer."

And in fact, is the MTA to one of these "Hidden Champions", whose name hardly anyone knows that manufacture electronic and electro-mechanical parts, without which no car can travel. Fuse boxes of the company are installed, for example, in the German BMW and Indian Tatas.

Italy's economy, it was not before the Corona well

MTA is just one of many companies which ensure that in the North of Italy, especially in the Lombardy Region around the city of Milan, the economic heart of the country beats. Just where the Virus has hit particularly hard.

After three months on break, Italy has loosened the strict Lockdown in the meantime. The mouth-nose masks to wear in MTA all the witnesses of the danger that still lurks. Even if almost all the employees are back in the factory, the machines were running on high speed, is broken in the turnover as compared to the previous 50 percent, says Falchetti.

Italy's economy had already weakened before the corona virus crisis hit the country as the first in Europe - and as hard as no other. The third largest economy in the Euro zone is in debt to 135 percent of the private gross domestic product (GDP).

Due to the limitations of experts of the National statistics Institute (Istat) expect the Italian economy to collapse in this year to at least eight percent.

Some see in the current crisis, but also a Chance for Italy. Yes, Covid-19 increased the pressure on the Italian economy immensely. Especially for the tourism industry, says Anna Gervasoni, General Director of the Private Equity Association AIFI. But: "We have many entrepreneurs who try out new products, new markets and new business models."

The perfect Sofa in Lockdown

One of them, Filippo Berto is. In the Showroom of his company Berto, he told that he and his staff were shocked when they had to close all shops in Italy.

But Berto was lucky and was well prepared. Because his company markets for two decades, Sofas, and other furniture pieces online, it was easier for companies to adapt to the new circumstances.

During the lock downs advanced Berto his Portfolio, and began about to, customers who wanted to set up your home, call for advice with video online. It was a tough test, says Filippo Berto. "We had the Chance to show our customers that we are able to respond to these very, very difficult Situation for all of us in this country."

Berto, is located in Meda, has always been a centre for Italian furniture manufacturer. The materials for the high-quality of Sofas is related in the company exclusively from the Region. Customers have to dig accordingly deep in your pocket, but the concept has a decisive advantage: The company is not dependent on global supply chains.

Should the infection figures in Italy to rise again, it would be Filippo Berto prepared for a possible second Lockdown better than other companies.

Maria Vittoria Falchetti from the car suppliers to the MTA, says the company has learned from the crisis and be prepared. For many other companies in Italy, it would appear, however, much darker.

author: Marina Strauss

*The post "Italy's economy suffers from Covid-19" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 23 June 2020, 05:26

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