Thirty years in thirty days. Idea Institute celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with the public unveiling of the new pure two-seater Era concept, which was created in just 30 days.
Founded by Franco Mantegazza in 1978, Idea Institute grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s into a network spread over six operational centres capable of taking care of the entire development of an automotive product: from styling and full-scale modelling to engineering, prototyping and industrialisation.
Over its history, Idea Institute has been responsible for a number of significant research projects (including all VSS Fiat subsystem vehicles) and successful models such as the Nissan Terrano and Daihatsu Move, working with prestigious market leaders such as Cagiva, Ducati, Telecom Italia, Hoover and Saporiti.
In the early ‘2000s, Franco Mantegazza sold his company to the Swiss multinational Rieter (15 thousand employees worldwide and a turnover of 4 billion Swiss Francs), a group with the majority of its operations in the automotive sector (with almost 9 thousand employees and 3 billion of its turnover attributable to the sector) that is particularly active in the development of innovative technologies.
After relocating from the stately baroque setting of Villa Cantamerla to the high tech steel and glass facades of its prestigious new 12 thousand square metre headquarters, Idea Institute now boasts a workforce 400 strong and a turnover of approximately 40 million Euros.
The new chairman, Italian born Pietro Lardini, launched an extensive programme of structural reorganisation (the Turin design centre is currently recruiting new designers and investing in new assisted design systems) and international expansion, with particular focus on France, Romania, China and Brazil, where Lardini plans to open a new branch by the end of the year.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 171