Roberto Nuti Group has its origins in 1962 in Bologna, Italy. After 60 years of history, it is now an international Group, including a production site in Italy, in Turkey, and in India. The RNB Group exports SABO brand products to over 80 countries worldwide: high quality shock absorbers and air springs, mainly intended for industrial vehicles and rail transport.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

RNB: Since our establishment, we have been committed to becoming a landmark in the suspension spare parts market. Today we aim to become a leader in the production of shock absorbers and air springs for the aftermarket sector of industrial and commercial vehicles thanks to our focal assets: our wide range of products, design “made in Italy” and production capacity, the quality achieved and our service.

We have expanded our offer to include shock absorbers for original equipment and rail vehicles, for special vehicles, for agricultural vehicles and for various industrial technologies, such as industrial washing machines or packaging machines.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

RNB: Since 2020, we have introduced railway shock absorbers in our SABO range, of which we are developers and producers in our headquarters in Vicchio del Mugello. In fact, we have obtained the UNI EN 15085-2:2008 certification which attests the quality of our welding processes, which is a fundamental requirement for supplying our products and satisfying the demands of the railway market.

The forecast is about the development of the railway market that will take place in the coming years, because of the change of population’s needs and of the environmental policies aimed at reducing emission. We believe that this could be an area of a potential great growth.

E.E: What are the ranges of products? 

RNB: We design, manufacture, and distribute SABO shock absorbers and air springs. All our products are developed and designed in Italy.

Our aim is to produce spare parts that last over time, even working on worn out vehicles or vehicles subjected to very difficult working conditions; for this reason, we combine the design and research of materials with very demanding instrumental tests, conducted in our Italian laboratories. We also have the exclusive distribution for the Italian market of MEI/QAS brake levers, Mei brake calipers, AYD tie rods and Pilot seats. Our catalogue currently contains about 5000 products.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

RNB: The transport market is growing, and we are aiming at the railway and at the original equipment sector. Since our dimension is now international, we will continue to face these markets by highlighting our know-how, stock assortment and excellent customer service, which are our strengths, in addition to the quality of the products.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? 

RNB: Heavy vehicle traffic on our country’s motorway network, which is our main market, has increased in the last five years, marking an annual growth trend (CAGR) of more than 1%, despite the effects of the pandemic. This authorizes us to a cautious optimism, also because the current problematic economic situation has effects for us that are not necessarily negative. In fact, the reduction in the replacement rate is causing a significant aging of the fleet of heavy vehicles in circulation. This fact is an advantage for those who, like us, work above all in the aftermarket sector.

As far as the railway sector is concerned, in Italy and more generally in Europe, there is an imbalance between the share of the road transport and the share of the rail transport. In Italy, in particular, the road absorbs more than half of the transport of goods. For years, the European Union has been aiming to increase the share of rail freight traffic and we expect significant investments in infrastructures, such as what is happening in Poland, for example. The benefits would be substantial not only in terms of efficiency, but also in terms of environmental sustainability. The main thesis is the one about the intermodal transport, i.e. train-ship-train. In the future, road haulage will increasingly have to complement other modes of transport.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? 

RNB: We have collaborated to a project to develop an anti-seismic device that aims to safeguard historic buildings and protect them in the event of an earthquake. Our technicians in Vicchio del Mugello studied a specific shock absorber optimized to dissipate the seismic energy induced by the walls. We are proud to collaborate with our knowledge on projects that can give contribution to the preservation of the historical and artistic heritage of our country.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022?

RNB: In 2021, the Group’s turnover had already returned to pre-pandemic levels. In 2022, despite a delicate moment for the world economy and despite the Italian political crisis, this trend was confirmed.

RNB Group is an international dimension, which also allows us to manage the consequences of current tensions. We will continue to face the markets by focusing on assortment and service. We are aware that our solid know-how and the important investments we have made over time will allow us to always be a leader in the spare parts aftermarket.

In order to consolidate our position, we are organizing ourselves to expand the share of the transport market to strengthen ourselves in the offer of solutions for the original equipment. We also intend to expand the offer and production capacity of products intended for the railway and agricultural sectors.