Italy – The Light Manufacturing Industry

When people think of manufacturing nowadays, the first thing that comes to mind is often China and other Asian manufacturing powerhouses. However, when it comes to fashion products, Italy is perhaps the most well known globally, and its wine and cheese is second only to France. In fact there are a number of industries, especially in the light manufacturing sector, that contribute greatly to the economy of Italy.

Industrial activity in Italy has been aided greatly by the liberal investment and business policies favored by the government. Italian light manufacturing is centered on the automotive, chemical and white goods industries. Together, the products manufactured by these industries constitute a major portion of Italian exports. Apart from a handful of large industries, the size of most of the manufacturing companies is small to medium. These companies concentrate mostly on niche products and luxury goods that have a dedicated market among other EU countries such as Germany, France and Spain and outside the EU in the United States, Japan as well as other nations.

Automotive Industry: The very mention of Italian automobiles calls to mind the names Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Fiat and Lancia. These and other cars not mentioned here is testimony to the diversity in the range of automobiles produced by Italian manufacturers. There is a car for every kind of budget manufactured by these companies. In addition to automobiles, there are also industries that manufacture machine parts or precision machinery for domestic consumption and exports.

Textiles and Clothing Industry: Italy is home to some of the world’s best known clothing and textile brands. In addition to catering to the luxury market, the success of this Italian industry also lies in the production of casual and designer wear that is priced affordably and of high quality. Furthermore, the retail distribution network of such products is very highly developed.

Food Processing: With famous names such as Parmalat, Nestlé and Barilla, the Italian food processing industry holds a significant share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It does not stop at the larger plants run by these companies though. There are also numerous small and family-run food processing units that produce cheese, sausages, chocolate, pasta and ham. In recent years, the global popularity of Italian food has driven the growth in this sector.

This is not by any means a comprehensive listing of the goods manufactured in Italy, and there is much more to Italian industrial activity. Aviation, cheese, perfumes, wine, jewelry, olive oil – these are some of the many Italian products exported. Whatever be the industry, the quality of the products and the superior design have made the ‘Made in Italy’ brand a byword among buyers across the world.