5 Questions with Carlo Moroni, Head of Brand Marketing & Communications at FPT Industrial
FPT Industrial is an Italian powerhouse that produces an engine per minute. It employs over 8,000 people globally in ten plants and seven Research and Development centres. It boasts a distribution network of 73 dealers and 800 service points around the world.
In the knowledge that everyone plays an important role in the production process of each brand, FPT Industrial has recently opened itself up to the customer. Using this insight as a basis for its approach, the business has put in place a new experience strategy which focuses on sharing knowledge and paying attention to people. This has generated a new way of showing up in both trade and consumer markets. Most recently, the business collaborated with artist Christian Holstad “Consideryourselfasaguest (Cornucopia)”, on a project to raise awareness about the environment and supported the exhibitions marking 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci.
FPT Industrial today provides the best in class quality for Powertrain technologies. A result you have achieved in 150 years of research and innovation. How would you describe your heritage and your products to those who don’t know FPT?
Over the years we’ve helped companies that work for other companies in their business by ensuring our clients receive the very best powertrains for on road, off road, marine and power generation applications. Since our foundation, our products and processes have been characterised by the highest quality and while this is surely one of the pillars that led to us becoming a global player, it’s not the only one. Being pioneers in research, our propensity for innovation and our ability to read the future needs of our clients has strongly impacted our growth in terms of the production of new lines and the expansion of our business into other markets. Today FPT Industrial is a global player, with a presence in over 100 countries, guaranteeing our clients get the very best assistance thanks to a capillary network of specialised centres. We are a brand that turns over more than 4.5 billion dollars and records significant growth rates both in terms of business and new product creation. Our history has got us to this point and our history has also enabled us to continue to invest in innovation and the activities that seek to consolidate the relationship with our clients.
Although it is key for your positioning, your brand is not only about engines: FPT Industrial is also about services, innovation, technology and sustainability. Which path are you taking to increase awareness in a world, the industrial market, where the brand is becoming more and more relevant?
As global players, we are aware that to remain competitive and winning it’s all about the role the brand plays in the market and for clients and individuals. Starting from this paradigm, we have taken a path focused on a new band strategy and based on the values of quality and humanisation.
With regards to quality, we’ve been able to leverage the experience we’ve accrued over the past 150 years while for engagement we’ve kickstarted a series of initiatives aimed at expanding our relationships and connections with individuals. This is where initiatives such as FPT Tech Day 2018 – created in collaboration with Wired – presenting our innovations to a wide public, projects aimed at raising awareness about the environment and cultural programmes come in.
Sustainability is more than a buzzword and the way brands are approaching green solutions is defining the future of the automotive market. What is FPT’s positioning in terms of products and strategy?
Sustainability is very important to us which is why we’ve been accelerating our research into products that are more and more eco-friendly – we recently presented a prototype of an engine fuelled by natural gas, electricity and hydrogen – and our Corporate Social Responsibility activities. In regards to the latter, we were at the opening days of the International Exhibition of Art, at the Biennale of Venice 2019, with a site-specific artwork created by the American artist Christian Holstad, inspired by the issues of marine protection from plastics pollution. “Fishing for plastic”, where we asked forty or so fishing boats to bring all the plastic they recovered from one fishing trip to shore, was another work designed to raise public awareness about the need to protect the seas from pollution and waste. Realising projects like this are a duty for a brand like FPT Industrial, which has always invested in research aimed at creating solutions that are sustainable and safeguard the environment.
Today brands are all about experience. And experience may also be key for brands interacting with dealers and various b2b stakeholders. What are you doing to manage and create an outstanding and remarkable relationship with your partners?
For a brand like FPT, brand experience must first and foremost involve our partners and dealers. We have therefore entirely reviewed the way we communicate and interact with them at fairs and sector events, our main touchpoints on the market. We have literally opened the doors and given access to our brand values and new visual identity to our clients and dealers. There are two reasons for this. On the one hand, we want clients to delve deep into FPT technology to discover the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of our products. On the other hand, we want to encourage and support more sharing and collaboration at the design stage: currently, at our stands, clients can evaluate tailor-made solutions to grow their business. Our new brand experience also involves partnerships with high added value. One of these is “The Sound of the Future” event which celebrates FPT Industrial opening itself up to the future with a live performance by Giorgio Moroder, a pioneer of electronic music. Both of these initiatives bear testimony to FPT’s desire to really understand what is at the heart of people – whether they be clients or end customers – by offering distinctive and engaging experiences in line with brand values. Artistic collaborations represent a strong link between our brand and art, and a journey to humanize FPT Industrial. The partnership with Maurizio Cattelan and the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari is an expression of this purpose. They interpreted and represented the FPT Industrial C16 1000 marine engine from a design point of view and featured it on Toiletpaper Magazine. Additionally, their work is now being brought to life by Italian design brand Seletti, which is producing a capsule collection that repurposes Toiletpaper’s FPT images onto everyday objects, like armchairs, stools and cushions.
FPT, part of CNH Industrial group, was founded in Turin, one of the most iconic city for the automotive and industrial sector. Over the last decades, the company has grown from a local Italian business to a global brand: how will FPT evolve in the next 10 years?
We are going through a period of change – technological, industrial and social change – which will affect every aspect of our business. The major changes will be those directly impacting sustainability. Not only because we need to keep putting our foot on the accelerator to meet the terms laid out in the Paris Agreement, but also to face the emerging requirements of business and consumers. As we have done up until now, FPT Industrial will continue to be inspired by the principles of transparency, participation and efficiency to grow and create value over the long term, in harmony with people and the environment.