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The Italy of Sustainable Mobility, Design, and Culture at the Center of Ambassador Zappia’s Mission to Detroit

S.E. l’Amb. Mariangela Zappia e la Console d’Italia a Detroit Allegra Baistrocchi

(Detroit, September 14th). During her visit to Detroit yesterday and today, the Ambassador of Italy to the USA, Mariangela Zappia, spoke at the renowned North American Auto Show taking place in the metropolis of Michigan to promote Italian excellence in the automotive sector, particularly in sustainable mobility. “Innovation, performance, and sustainability are the strengths of the Italian automotive industry,” emphasized the Ambassador, who was the only foreign institutional representative among the speakers at the event. In her speech, followed by that of Silvio Pietro Angori, CEO of Pininfarina, the Ambassador emphasized the central role of the automotive sector in Italy, with over 5,500 companies and 250,000 employees, double-digit growth (+18% in 2022) in Italian vehicle exports to the USA, exceeding 3.5 billion euros, and the presence in Detroit of outstanding Italian groups such as Brembo, Persico, Marposs, Marelli, Comau, Eurogruppo Laminations, and STMicroelectronics, whose microchips are found in 85% of electric cars sold in the USA. Iconic Italian car brands such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Dallara, and Pininfarina are also present at the Detroit show this year.

Ambassador Zappia’s speech at the “Sustainable Mobility – Italian Style” event, organized by the Italian Consul in Detroit, Allegra Baistrocchi, as part of LoveITDetroit, a series of events celebrating Italian design hosted in a dedicated installation focused on Italian sustainability in Detroit’s main square, highlighted Italy’s leadership in design, green transition, and sustainable mobility.

The Ambassador emphasized Italy’s commitment to combating climate change, including its role as the upcoming G7 presidency, highlighting collaboration with the United States on the international stage and acknowledging the prominent roles of major Italian companies such as ENI and ENEL in the green transition in the USA. Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Ghilcrest, who spoke after the Ambassador, emphasized the strong connection between his state and Italy, hoping for increased collaboration and recognizing the dynamic role of Italian companies in the state.

The discussion, moderated by Kerry Duggan, founder of the consulting company SustainabiliD and a former member of the Obama administration, featured experts in sustainable mobility, including Marco Bruzzano, Vice President of DTE, a city utility with collaborations with the Stellantis Group; Andrea Tranchida, Vice President for Automotive at STMicroelectronics; Leonardo Franchini, CEO of North America at Euro Gruppo Laminations, a company present in 90% of electric vehicles sold in the United States; and Silvio Angori, CEO of Pininfarina.

Ambassador Zappia’s visit to Detroit also includes a meeting with the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, aimed at expanding Italian entrepreneurial presence in the state and strengthening inter-university and cultural collaborations. The agenda also includes a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts, which will inaugurate an exhibition of Italian Renaissance bronze sculpture masterpieces at the end of September, meetings with selected representatives of the Italian and Italian-American community in Detroit, as well as discussions with key figures in the city’s business world.