Tecnobus to take over Valeo factory

Italian plant expected to help OEM expand bus production

French automotive supplier Valeo Group has operated a factory in Ferentino, Italy, since 1974 to make components for vehicle thermal management and HVAC units for Italian OEMs. The company said work at site has been decreasing as OEMs focus more on electric vehicles, which do not use the kind of systems produced there. As a result, Valeo has been seaking new opportunities to preserve the expertise and secure the future of the site and its people.

Tecnobus Industries srl has agreed to take over the Valeo site before the end of the year. In order to start the new production lines quickly, Tecnobus said it intends to leverage the existing industrial capabilities as well as the skills of the 55-strong workforce, who will all be offered positions.

Tecnobus is an Italian manufacturer of electric powered minibuses established in 1988 and that is already present in the Ferentino area. The OEM was looking to increase its footprint to support the rapid ramp up of its bus production as demand for electric mobility is expected to increase.

The acquisition is reportedly part of a larger investment plan of 30 million euros. Tecnobus said it intends to further develop the existing facilities as well as to recruit more than 100 people.

battery electric Tecnobus said its Gulliver urban bus uses interchangeable batteries that can be replaced in less than three minutes, (Photo: Tecnobus)

As a technology company in the automobile space, Valeo said its primary growth areas are electrification, driving assistance systems, operator environment and lighting.

“The automotive industry is facing the most impressive revolution in its history with vehicles becoming electric, safer and greener,” said Maurizio Martinelli, Valeo Group President Italy. “Valeo is anticipating the impact on its activity and people with the development and industrialization of new technologies, but also by finding new opportunities to leverage the expertise developed over decades on its sites.

“The takeover by Tecnobus is a great opportunity to secure the future of the site and its people, while contributing their expertise to the development of electric mobility, in Italy but also in Europe. At Valeo, we are committed to offering technologies for affordable and more sustainable mobility and we are looking forward to continuing contributing to the Italian ecosystem with our other sites in the country.”

Tecnobus sold its first electric vehicle for people transport in 1988, and first Gulliver electric minibuses were sold in 1994. Since then, the company has sold hundreds of minibuses in and outside Europe.

“Tecnobus is probably the oldest company producing electric minibus in the world,” said Paolo Marini, CEO, Tecnobus. Though production was put on hold some years ago, Tecnobus sold electric minibuses in 47 main cities in the world in the past years, as market leader. With our acquisition, at the end of 2021, our target is to regain that leadership position. As Tecnobus is growing and the demand for our products booms, we are very proud to add to our amazing journey to offer solutions for more sustainable collective mobility thanks to our electric technologies. Leveraging the skills and heritage built by Valeo, we are looking forward to welcoming the new workforce and getting ready to start the production in our new location in Ferentino.”’

Tecnobus had ceased production before Marini and his ICAB group invested in the OEM and revived it.

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