“We cover all process activities on the production floor,” says Company Founder and Managing Director Francesco Ellena. “Our activities encompass general production engineering with a specific focus on welding, stamping and assembly. We develop production plans for these areas and design the specific equipment required.”
The full portfolio of activities carried out by C.A.A.R. SpA includes product engineering, equipment design, electronic engineering, mechanical process engineering, equipment and construction, and building and utilities design.
This broad spectrum of expertise requires a workforce with an equally broad fund of knowledge and experience. “In less than ten years, our workforce has grown more than tenfold to number 250 people today,” says Mr. Ellena. “In order to attract the best new staff and retain our highly qualified senior staff, we do our best to create a rewarding working environment and the conditions through which our employees can reach their professional and personal goals.”
By founding C.A.A.R. SpA in 2009, Mr. Ellena was fulfilling his own personal ambition. “After spending 38 years with Italian car-maker FIAT in senior positions within the Engineering Business Unit, I wanted to spend the end of my career working in the same field but as my own boss,” he notes.
It was perhaps one of the worst times to leave a secure job and start up a new business. “It was 2009, just after the financial crisis had struck and the Italian economy and automotive sector had taken a big hit,” Mr. Ellena points uut. “However, we were able to rely on orders from FIAT in the early years and quickly built a strong customer base. In 2013, we became the first non-public company in Italy to raise capital through the issuing of minibonds. These allowed us to grow through the establishment of a subsidiary company in Brazil in 2013, the takeover of KGR Elettronica and STI in 2014, and the establishment of C.A.A.R. Serbia in 2015. At the beginning of this year, we paid back the bonds in full and have commenced a new round of financing.”
My strategy from the beginning has been to pair experienced employees with those starting out in their careers so that each could learn from the other. Francesco EllenaFounder, Owner and Managing Director
“That C.A.A.R. SpA is in such rude financial health is down to the expertise and commitment of its workforce,” insists Mr. Ellena. “The average age of our employees is relatively young, but we also have a lot of people who bring over 35 years of experience to the company. My strategy from the beginning has been to pair experienced employees with those starting out in their careers, so that each could learn from the other.”
The Managing Director leads by example and his two sons have been on board since the beginning. “They were the reason for setting up the company,” says Mr. Ellena. “One now works on the technical side while the other manages our office in Bolzano.”
The outlook for the future is rosy. Investment in engineering for the e-mobility and self-driving vehicle trends means that C.A.A.R. SpA will likely continue its dizzying upward trajectory.