In comparison to the automobile industry: the stone branch needs international platforms to promote further development
This year’s Marmomacc marked the 50th anniversary of the Trade Fair – celebration included jubilation for the „Made in Italy“-COO: the giant sum of 2 million € was ear-marked by the Italian Government.
The organizers used the funds to stage the excellent „Italian Stone Theatre“ in Hall 1 to which 100 architects and 100 buyers from the entire stone branch were invited to attend seminars and company visits. An international Stone Summit was also held for umbrella organizations of some 20 countries.
But, with but slight exaggeration, one could say that this year’s Marmomacc was more national than ever before, with which the opportunities for the future of the stone branch nationally and internationally were wasted.
To put things into perspective, let us take a look at the success factors accompanying a prolific branch throughout the last 130 years: the automobile. We must ask: what makes the automobile so vastly successful and lucrative?
True, the automobile actively supports man’s striving for mobility. Also, automobiles are very useful and easy to operate.
But there is one more point which is of great interest: the automobile branch sports an enormous variety of models conceived for every taste and budget.
The natural stone branch is currently becoming a producer on the level of the automobile industry: todays uses of stone are no-longer restricted to building façades, flooring or kitchen or bathroom counter tops. Increasingly household and designer products are made of – or with – natural stone (stone-design). Also an ever increasing palate of uses in innovative building are being developed (stone-architecture).
That is why the stone branch must be poised to take the quantum leap to the boundless variety currently catered to by the automobile branch where the customer can find a product to match every wish and budget.
Just think of the creative names everybody knows and which conjure dreams of a life-style: Ferrari or Fiat, and Citroen, Mini-Cooper, Honda, Jeep, Hyundai, Chrysler, Volkswagen, to name but a few.
Such variety can only ensue on a global platform. The automobile fairs are their forum.
The door to a wide palate remains shut as Marmomacc missed the chance to open it on the occasion of its jubilee celebration.
One could literally be moved to tears: What a wonderful show could have been staged in Hall 1 at the „Stone Theatre“ if international architects and companies had been invited to participate.
Of course the staging would have been directed by Italy, no question.
But the aim is to attain the gamut of products and variety currently catered to by the automobile branch.
Representatives of the stone branch will shudder at the thought.
But Henry Ford in his almost endless wisdom once said: what is good for the automobile, is always good for the Ford Motor Company.
Marmomacc 2016, 28th September to October 1st.
(14.11.2015, USA: 11.14.2015)