A brand that has revolutionised the car care sector to the point of becoming the benchmark of excellence for the cleaning and sanitising products market. Our story is the story of a family that made MA-FRA a leading brand in the international car care and detergent market thanks to its expertise in formulations and continuous innovation.
For the Car Care sector, the 1960s was a real revolution triggered by the insights of Franco Mattioli, the founder of MA-FRA. It all began in 1965when Franco Mattioli decided to devote himself to his great passion — chemistry. The bathtub was his first laboratory, where he experimented with new formulas. The real innovation was to bring the ideas and principles of cosmetics — for men and women — to a completely new sector, cars.
Seeing the long queues that formed at speciality car washes due to the slow drying process, Franco Mattioli had an ingenious idea: create a product that would eliminate the need to manually dry cars. This is how the self-drying agent came to be, a highly successful product that marked the beginning of the MA-FRA story.
Soon the innovative self-drying product was joined by wax removers and polishes, creating a full range ofcosmetic products for cars. And when the slogan “Cosmetics for your Car” appeared for the first time, it was indeed a Revolution.
After revolutionising the market with “cosmetics for cars”, it was time to consolidate and grow the company. And thus Franco Mattioli bought his first properties in Limbiate, Italy where the company was based until 2003.
In the 1970s, the company was awarded the prestigious Golden Apollo, the Oscar for business. The product range also expanded with the introduction of the first dashboard polish, Diamant Plast, a completely innovative product. The range thus expanded from exterior care solutions to interior cleaning solutions. With these, the company presented itself as a market benchmark not only for professional use but also for DIY. The first catalogues were created, and the company started to diversify into the motorbike and boating sectors with the creation of some versatile multifunctional products.
The company set up its own network of dealers, with exclusive territories, still the strong point of MA-FRA’s marketing policy with over 100 sole-proprietor dealers.
The 1980s was another turning point for the company, as it took a big step forward through its collaboration with Peugeot. MA-FRA developed the first custom MA-FRA – Peugeot catalogues for all professional and DIY products. This important collaboration confirmed MA-FRA as an important partner also for car dealerships and, after the experience with Peugeot, MA-FRA established other important collaborations, including with Toyota Italy and Daewoo Motors Italy.
Thanks to the quality of the products and continuous innovation, over the years, MA-FRA has become an official partner of several car manufacturers, such as Alfa Romeo, Lamborghiniand Maserati.
The constant efforts of the Research & Development laboratory, the corporate flagship, has enabled MA-FRA to expand its line of products and address an increasingly broad audience, not just products for cars, but also for motorbikes, industrial vehicles, boats, inflatable rafts and any means of transport.
The company also has a new laboratory specialising in controlling and analysing waste water, further encouraging the search for eco-friendly products by eliminating alkylphenols from its detergents. The result is chlorofluorocarbon-free aerosols, a biodegradable wax remover and the eco-friendly Eco Spray line, featuring a spray can that can be refilled with compressed air.
Production of the eco-friendly Ecomafline is a synthesis of innovation, technology and environmental protection. These revolutionary products contain only natural plant-based surfactants and ensure maximum biodegradability, thus lowering environmental impact.
In the 1990s, MA-FRA began to look beyond the confines of the Italian market and began establishing itself in the rest of the world. The internationalisation process began with Eastern European markets and participation in the most important industry trade fairs.
Today, MA-FRA is in more than 60 countries, with 40 official importers and production facilities in Italy, India and Kazakistan.
With the new millennium, the company’s headquarters moved from Limbiate to the prestigious new facility in Baranzate, Italy just outside Milan, which is still home to the group’s headquarters.
Production uses increasingly modern equipment, and today it boasts6 fully automatic lines and 3 semi-automatic lines. MA-FRA also started obtaining important quality certifications. The first was ISO 9001 Certification, for design control. This was followed by the prestigious ISO 14001 Environmental Certification, making MA-FRA the first car care chemicals company in Italy to receive such recognition.
Car care product vending machines come to car washes. Here too, MA-FRA proved to be a pioneer. The company started producing and marketing the Shopping Car care product vending machine and the Deo Shop
fragrance vending machine. With these products, MA-FRA further strengthened its presence at Car Washes.
During these years, MA-FRA created specific product lines for boats, motorbikes, motorhomesand hardware.
Important advertising campaigns saw MA-FRA as a main player in the national media but also at stadiums, racetracksand on cars participating in rallies. The brand was refreshed with a three-dimensional graphic restyling in bold colours, making it even more attractive, more modern and easier to recognise.
MA-FRA strengthens its image in the media — through a series of initiatives that have made the brand the best known, most highly appreciated in the industry — and on a professional level, reinforcing and pursuing the values of utmost quality andrespect for the environment, property and people.
With the advent of new modern communications channels, MA-FRA became a leader in social media, its name linked to major influencers, corporate brand ambassadors, thus giving the group brand and products considerable visibility.
Thanks to special marketing initiatives and participation at the most important international auto detailing events, MA-FRA has once again become a pioneer, spreading the culture of detailing within the Car Care market.
MA-FRA also continues to innovate in the car wash sector. During those same years, the Unika Line made its debut, a line of high performance, low environmental impact products specifically designed for car wash professionals. These are hyper-compatible products which can be mixed and matched in an infinite number of ways to suit every situation and every system feature, whether the car wash be automatic or self-service.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted MA-FRA to develop a wide range of products for cleaning and sanitising objects, surfaces and environments.
Here again, the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to market demands has proved to be a corporate strength. As a result, we now have products such as Kilvir, a multi-surface sanitiser, Odorbact Out Green Forrest, a disinfectant spray (PMC) that sanitises and disinfects car interiors, and Ogni Volta, broad-spectrum, dry sanitising spray.
The story continues and, as always, MA-FRA is ready to meet the demands of its customers and face new market challenges.
MAFRA GROUP Srl
Via Manfredo Camperio, 9 – 20123 Milan (Italy)
C.F. e P.IVA 10457930963