CIFA, part of the Chinese group Zoomlion Heavy Industry, has confirmed its investment plan for Italy with the creation of a new plant in Solferino, Northern Italy. A close bond with the local area is key for the company based in Milan (Senago), both for the know-how characterising the region’s industrial heritage and for its strategic position in the centre of Europe. And precisely Europe is the target for which the new plant was built. It will host the assembly and manufacturing activities of cranes, truck cranes, forklifts and AWPs by Zoomlion intended for European customers.
The story in brief
Chinese group Zoomlion Heavy Industry took over CIFA in 2008, thereby providing fresh financial resources for the company during the severe crisis of the construction sector and allowing it to keep on producing concrete machinery (truck mixers, truck pumps, truck mixer pumps, etc.) entirely Made in Italy. Because of its industry expertise and a well-established sales network, in 2018 the Chinese group chose CIFA as its hub for the production and distribution in Europe of various Zoomlion-branded product lines: this led to the creation of Zoomlion Europe. CIFA built the plant inaugurated today to expand its business and the production of Zoomlion products. The range of machines distributed by Zoomlion Europe includes forklifts and AWPs, tower cranes and mobile cranes. The new factory will also include the production of the latter, as they are already designed and made in Italy with entirely European components.
Despite the difficulties due to the Covid-19 period, CIFA and Zoomlion Europe have not scaled down their business plan. They are instead pursuing investment and development projects, thereby generating a positive impact on the whole of the local economic fabric and breathing new life into the entire supply chain at such a delicate time.
According to Davide Cipolla, CEO at CIFA and Zoomlion Europe:
“In this very difficult period, we have been able to keep the investment plan envisaged for Italy unchanged, with the construction of a new plant, also thanks to funding from the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and from SACE, through Garanzia Italia, the instrument of the Liquidity Decree intended to support Italian businesses to face the Covid-19 emergency. An enterprise that will generate a positive return in the local area also in terms of employment: indeed, once it is fully operational the plant will have about 80 new employees.”
A 10,000 m2 plant, in an area with over 20,000 m2 , intended for the expansion of the product supply in the lifting, mobile crane and tower crane sector. A leading-edge factory that, just like the products, has high quality and safety levels: the premises are fully cabled to allow for the connection of state-of-the-art machinery with 4.0 technology. The rooms are laid out according to lean production principles and the safety systems – like the system with sensors against gas leaks used to automatically identify and stop any leakage – comply with top standards. Aware of the importance of guaranteeing economic growth that is also sustainable, the reduction of the environmental impact was also a key aspect in the creation of the factory: the solar panel system fitted on the roof supplies power for manufacturing activities and the LED lighting of the whole premises.
Zoomlion and CIFA have confirmed they intend to keep on investing in the Italian logistics and manufacturing hub by focusing on innovation and internationalisation as levers for growth to attain a leading position on the European market in a strategic sector for economic recovery like construction.