Work has begun on a brand new Bianchi factory and headquarters in the Treviglio region of Italy, the company’s CEO Fabrizio Scalzotto announced on Thursday.
The plans for a 30,000 square metre facility, first announced in July, include 17,000 square metres devoted to bike production, and the creation of an on-site Bianchi Museum aimed at attracting tourists to the area. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2023 and is expected to cost around £35 million.
The new site will employ over 250 people, with the project hoping to revitalise one of northern Italy’s traditional industrial heartlands by resituating most of Bianchi’s carbon-fibre frame production on Italian soil. The company hopes to increase its Italy-based production from 250 bikes a day to over 1,000 units each shift.
Earlier this year Scalzotto claimed it was “now or never” when it came to returning control of the manufacturing process to Italy, as logistical disruptions due to Covid-19 and the US-China trade war saw order times extended to between 500 and 700 days. It's something fellow Italian bike brand 3T has also done, announcing back in June that it was moving its carbon frame manufacturing in-house.
"Key to Bianchi's vision and strategy is the beginning of a re-shoring process, bringing back to Italy the technical and production capacities that had been outsourced outside of Europe in previous decades," Scalzotto said on Thursday.
Bianchi’s president and owner Salvatore Grimaldi reaffirmed this commitment to home-grown production, saying, "Growing and developing companies is the challenge that fascinates me more than any other, and today we are embracing a new one: creating at Bianchi one of the most advanced bicycle manufacturing plants in the world. We feel proud to have chosen Treviglio for this renewal and for our future. Treviglio will be home not only of a technological and designer factory, but of a leading, ambitious company with a global vision.”
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.