It's the outstanding auto-mall in Italian market, for marketed brands, customer services and commercial fleet
For more than fifty years, Mocauto has been synonymous with cars both in Milan and beyond. An iconic Italian brand, founded in 1963 near the Arch of Peace in Milan, it originally sold just one make, Autobianchi, which today looks more vintage than ever in the futuristic Car World Center on Milan’s via dei Missaglia. With over 90 thousand square meters dedicated to cars and motorists, the centre houses concessions of a total of 16 brands. Mocauto offers a range of ten makes of car: Fiat, Fiat Professional, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Abarth, Ford, Lexus, Subaru, Mazda and Mahindra, and is a partner of Rossocorsa Ferrari and Maserati.
It also boasts a huge offering of used and pre-registered vehicles, financial services, and insurance, as well as servicing and maintenance for individuals and businesses. An integrated and modern way of meeting both the need for transport and the pleasure of driving. The multifunction car complex, opened in 2002 following the sensitive restoration of an area which was once home to Milan’s biggest paper company, is the pride and joy of the indominatable founder of the Mocauto Group, Piero Mocarelli. «You could describe it as a sort of mall, with a range of different concessions all under one roof», explains Mocarelli, who, together with his brother and partner Gianni – the driving force of the business since the late sixties – came up with this revolutionary approach to car sales and servicing. «We’re talking about a car centre that is unique in its size and the range of services it offers. In addition to our ten makes, the centre also houses Rossocorsa, in which we hold an interest. And we also have Peugeot Italia, Bmw Milan and Nissan, which are run independently of the Mocauto Group. But we still have room for two or three more concessions».
Given the realities of distribution and of the market in general, the Mocarelli brothers believe that the centre is comparable to a permanent motor show where the people of Milan can gather information and find solutions that meet their driving needs. «The Mocauto Center is also environmentally friendly, thanks to its own geothermal heating and cooling plant with its system of heat pumps».
There is no limit to the inventiveness and passion of this energetic 77-year-old, who continues to influence the history of the car. Thanks to the limitless energy of the two brothers, Mocauto Group has been able to withstand the crises which have affected the sector and has been able to reinvent itself. With a view to extending its services to individuals, companies and fleets even further, Mocauto Group has always made a particular effort to offer innovative products. It was among the first to use alternative forms of finance such as leasing, to create the first fleet management company in the late 80s and to create a multibrand group in Italy, mainly thanks to the arrival of Piero’s nephew Marco, who, with a degree from Milan’s Bocconi University and an Mba from Harvard, brought new expertise to the business, allowing them to develop the concept of a Uk-style dealer network at the end of the 90s. Today Mocauto Group has a turnover of €270 million a year, having stepped up its activity in the outskirts of Milan and in neighbouring Monza with five sites, 250 staff and around 90 independent authorised repairers. In 1990 Piero’s son Andrea followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the company, and for years has successfully taken care of the Ford Ambrostore concession.
Piero Mocarelli is confident in the upturn in the car market, and aware of how much has changed. «In the 60s and 70s the car was a status symbol», he recalls. «You might have scrimped on other things but a new car was a must. When the supermini Autobianchi A112 was launched, demand was so high that we were quoting an eighteen month wait for delivery. Second hand sales were never a problem. I call it the period of opportunity for the car industry: small investments were enough, and there was no talk of standard returns. In those days you were a commission agent and not a dealership: it was much more exclusive than it is today. The buyer’s guarantee in those days was only for six months or 10,000 kilometres, with no labour included. Sales weren’t a problem; if anything, the challenge was to have agreements with the top-end brands and to get hold of enough cars to deliver. The world of cars and distribution was turned upside down by the economic crisis (which reduced the market to sales of 1.315 million cars in 2013 compared to 2.5 million in 2007), by globalisation and by the internet.
All these things mean you have to show continuing improvements in the way you approach the customer. Today, with the long-term car leasing company, rather than selling ownership of a car, we’re trying to get consumers to adopt the idea of problem-free transport, paying a monthly rate or fee to cover all the costs that are associated with buying and using a car. Are we looking at a future where cars will be bought solely on the internet and where dealerships are no longer needed? Who knows? But we will find a way to be useful to the customer... And what’s more – after 53 years in the market – we wouldn’t be one of the leading distributors if we didn’t pay close attention to change and to the changing needs of the customers.