Posts Tagged ‘Headquarters’

Abarth’s new premises in Turin

Monday, February 18th, 2008

As envisaged by the plans to revive the brand, the Abarth & C. Spa company has set up new premises in the Mirafiori complex in Turin, bringing together the manufacturing, design and management functions for the whole company, as well as the staff of the Racing Team who were formerly housed in the historical plant in the nearby town of Chivasso. And it took just eight months to build the new structure and to transfer the racing team, living up to the brand’s reputation for ‘speed’. This is all the more remarkable if we remember that the premises cover an area of more than 23,000 square metres, conceived specifically to house all the brand’s activities, and employ more than 100 people.

Located in the historical Mirafiori Engineering plant – now known as Officine 83 and also the home of the Fiat Group Automobiles Style Centre since 2007 – the new Abarth structure offers important advantages for both the expansion of the brand’s specific activities and for relations with the Fiat Group’s other industrial activities: the location will simplify interaction with the Style Centre, the Experimental construction centre, and the Engineering and Design departments.

The project embodies the same guidelines that accompany the brand’s re-invention: effectiveness, speed, essentiality and functionality. A large industrial building has been refurnished, but maintains its original industrial configuration, and now houses the workshops where the models are manufactured and developed, divided into different departments: racing cars, prototype development, development of cars derived from standard production and the Racing Department. The technical and design offices are located next to the workshops, while the Marketing and the Sales & Network Development functions are housed on the first floor, with the other business support functions (Finance, Purchasing, etc.).

The entrance introduces the brand’s distinctive elements immediately: an Italian flag on the white side walls to underline the brand’s nationality, and a 1 metre high 3D rendering of the classic Abarth shield, made of steel.

Abarth Headquarters

Abarth Headquarters

The Abarth name appears over the main door, also in steel, 208 cm long and 25 cm high; a texture mounted on adhesive on the sliding glass door represents the car’s main mechanical components, a distinctive element of all Abarth dealers.

Beyond the entrance are the words ‘Officine Mirafiori’ (in relief) under another classic Abarth shield, which underlines the parent company’s determination to maintain the brand’s historical values and seamless continuity with the past. On the right, is the characteristic ‘Abarth wall of fame’: 40 photographs from the past that celebrate Abarth’s victories, successes and most important models, like the one in Carlo Abarth’s office 60 years ago.

Abarth Headquarters

Abarth Headquarters

The generous space to the left of the entrance will house a 560 square metre showroom, which will illustrate the brand’s past and future through a display of models and distinctive elements from Abarth’s history. With the strong imprint of the corporate colours (red and white with grey details), the exhibition space harks back to the past, underlining that the link with tradition is not only ideal but real and visible.

Abarth Headquarters

Abarth Headquarters

Next to the showroom is a chequered doorway – a symbol that represents the finishing line of endurance races and was applied on the roofs of cars with the Scorpion badge – leading to a small room where the new 500 Abarth will be displayed during the inauguration of the new premises, standing on a large aluminium scorpion: this ‘small but wicked’ car will be the only one in the room, a striking way of underlining the importance of its launch.

Abarth Headquarters

Abarth Headquarters

Another element that conveys the personality of the whole centre is the new workshop, which is equipped with eight car lifts for carrying out tuning operations on the cars. A special area has also been earmarked as a future assembly line for cars in small production runs. The route through the workshops is marked by a red Abarth strip (3.5 metres tall) on all the walls, to demonstrate that the Abarth spirit involves the whole company.

Abarth Headquarters

Abarth Headquarters

After the workshops is the area set aside for the various warehouses, where the walls are painted dark grey. Nothing random about this: grey was the colour that Carlo Abarth used on his cars (to produce it, he used tins of paint destined to the aircraft at the airfield adjacent to the original headquarters in Corso Marche).


The return of Abarth

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

A glorious past becomes the present, an all-conquering passion that is as strong today as it ever was: this is the inspiration behind Fiat Group Automobiles’ plan to re-launch the Abarth name. Always synonymous with tough, spirited cars, challenges, passion and thrills, Abarth is back with a new range to whet the appetites of all sports car enthusiasts.

The novelty lies in the modern-day interpretation of everything that Abarth used to do in the past – starting with motor-racing, followed by prototypes and vehicle conversion kits, and even fashion accessories representing the Abarth style. An expression of the ultimate racing lifestyle, the new company will be active on several fronts: firstly, in the world of motorsport, an environment strictly related to competition, one-make trophies and cars prepared for private customers. Second, the commercial environment, including tuning – hence the production of conversion kits – not forgetting the extensive licensing and merchandising operations.

In short, Abarth is creating a world all of its own, a world that revolves around the core values that led to its great success in decades gone by: innovative design, state-of-the-art materials, and love for detail. Behind it all is an absolutely genuine passion for motoring, not to mention the company’s human and technological assets, and the professional pride of the thousands of people – technicians, workers and executives – who have come and gone from the factories, offices and race tracks.

The target of Abarth’s first project, later to be extended to other models, was the Grande Punto – on sale in Italy from September. It will be on the market in Switzerland by the end of the year, and will also be available in other countries during the course of 2008. There will hardly be time to draw breath between each launch: between now and the end of 2008, no less than four new product launches have been planned. The brand’s development plans will force it to expand its production capability in the short term, and within a few months, Abarth’s new home will have been completed at the Mirafiori plant. The new premises will group together the company’s manufacturing, design and management divisions.

Abarth Headquarters

Abarth Headquarters

This fast pace explains the decision to give Abarth its own brand, managed by an independent company (Abarth & C. S.p.A., 100%-owned by Fiat Group Automobiles) whose distribution is entrusted to an exclusive commercial organisation covering four levels: flagship service centres, dealers, specialised tuners and workshops.

Agile and quick off the mark (in the best Abarth tradition), Abarth & C. S.p.A is in the hands of Chief Executive Officer Luca De Meo, and covers three areas of activity: Business Operations, Engineering & Manufacturing Operations and Racing Operations. The first division, led by Antonino Labate, has the task of designing the products and services for the customisation and tuning of standard sports cars, organising the sales and service network, and managing Abarth’s merchandising and licensing operations.

Abarth Headquarters

Abarth Headquarters

The second area, Engineering & Manufacturing Operations, is headed by Paolo Ollino. He is responsible for technical development and production, together with the tuning and servicing of competition cars, and developing the car customisation and tuning products. The division works in partnership with the Engineering & Design division of Fiat Group Automobiles (led by Harald Wester).

Finally, the Racing Operations division, led by Claudio Berro, has the task of coordinating Abarth vehicles’ entries in national and international motorsport competitions, organising the championships reserved for private customers, and managing relations with racing and rallying clients and sponsors.

Abarth Racing

Abarth Racing

Last but not least, Abarth can rely on the assistance of Paolo Martinelli, director of the Engine Division (Racing Operations) at Ferrari until October 2006, and currently head of the Petrol Engine Development Division at Fiat Powertrain Technologies.