Fiat heir makes industry comeback customizing cars
MILANO (Bloomberg) -- Lapo Elkann, a flamboyant heir of Italy's Agnelli family, the dynasty that started Fiat, is making a recovery in the automotive industry after a-10-yr split having a startup that provides customized automobiles.
Elkann, 38, purchased a classic 1950s-era gas-station in Milano to foundation Garage Italia Customs, a firm that personalizes any such thing from Ferraris to yachts and choppers as well as provides a Fiat 500 re designed to appear to be a Star Wars storm trooper.
His new company also will be home to a restaurant managed by star chef Carlo Cracco.
"Automobiles will be the love of my entire life, for 10 years I Have been an orphan from my greatest fire," mentioned Elkann, who left his work as head of brand marketing at Fiat in 2005 to enter a drug rehabilitation practice.
At Fiat, he encouraged the car-maker to younger clients by licensing sweatshirts, running shoes, wine and cafes beneath the Fiat name as it struggled to recover customers and prevent insolvency. Jointly with his siblings John and Ginevra, they may be the majority stockholders in Exor, the Agnelli business that commands Fiat Chrysler Cars and Ferrari.
His older brother John, chairperson of FCA and Exor, manages the household's company investments.
Lapo Elkann, who in 2007 began Italia Independent Team, a manufacturer of carbon fiber shades and life-style goods, does not rule out a return to Fiat-Chrysler. "I determine a lot with my bowel," he stated when questioned if he'd accept an ultimate occupation offer.
Garage Italia so significantly h AS personalized about 100 vehicles including Mercedes SUVs with desert landscape designs. Now he is discussing jobs with BMW Team as interest in individualization grows.
Using a tailor made plan that Elkann assisted produce, Ferrari raises the cost of its own supercars like the $327,100 F-12 Berlinetta about 30% by incorporating individual touches like cashmere-coated seats. Personalizing automobiles is likely to improve spending for high end automobiles by 8 percent in 2013, the fastest-growing section in the luxury-products industry. The cost may even be triple d with personal touches, in accordance with a Bain & Co. research.
"There's an increasing desire to get a 360-diploma high-end encounter, including high end transport which includes highly personalized super cars and yachts," Bain associate Claudia D'Arpizio mentioned in the report.
A grandson of the late Fiat Chairman Giovanni Agnelli, Elkann does not exclude Garage Italia ultimately making vehicles or becoming a automobile brand. "I do not need to establish any limit to my group," Elkann stated.
"Layout, personalization and large-experienced craftsmanship needs to be a mantra for Italian companies to live against international rivals," mentioned Giuliano Noci, a marketing professor at Milan's Polytechnic College.
The architect Michele De Lucchi, who created the well-liked Pavilion Zero for Milano's Global Expo, is responsible for the re Storation of the Milan gas-station which will also sell products.
Elkann means to enlarge his enterprise by starting similar factory outlets in Miami and Dubai. He is about to meet supervisors in the Silicon Valley in-coming months as a piece of his fascination with the revolutionary changes he anticipates in the sector with technology giants such as Google and Apple contemplating whether to enter the automobile company.
The shift of the vehicle right into a full service cellular apparatus is seen as a possible sales goldmine for the technologies sector.
"Some auto managers must take cool showers with these technology firms investing in the automotive sector," Elkann stated. "The variety of car companies will shrink in-coming years and the first one that seals a deal together could turn out to be the victor."
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