Fassi looks to the future
By Euan Youdale16 November 2009
Giovanni Fassi told journalists at the SAIE 2009 exhibition in Italy that talking about the global crisis was no longer the key issue. "It is about a resetting of our companies. We have to got back seven or eight years and start again. I hope we go back to the peak but it's not written anywhere."
Fassi says there has been about a 50% drop in sales across the loader crane companies, but forecasts 10% growth at Fassi by the end of next year. Italy, he says, is keeping up the average against other European countries which are experiencing the downturn. Those include Spain and the UK, but North America is also taking its time to recover. "They had the crisis first, more than two years ago and they are still down."
New products will help Fassi's cause. Six XP versions of existing models in the 5 to 16 tonne-metre range were on show: the F55A XP, F70A XP, F90A XP F105A XP, F120A XP and F160A XP. The XP system provides power reserve during critical situations. Fassi also announced the FX500 load limiting device, developed for light and medium cranes from the existing FX800 Evolution system.
Fassi said the company was researching another product to control the stability of the crane. The system would not control the outriggers but would, perhaps, take the form of a balance sensor checking areas including rotation and deformation.
In October Fassi sold working platform manufacturer Socage. "There is no crisis, but we had wanted to get out of the working platform business for a few years."
The company had been under the ownership of Fassi for 20 years. The final deal saw the sale price reach 2007 prices, according to Fassi. The buyer of Socage has also acquired truck mount and spider manufacturer Cela.
"There were no productive or commercial synergies. The components were completely different. It is different steel, different rams and different length of boom, so we almost never produced anything for Socage."
The sale will provide a platform for new investment, says Fassi. While no plans have been finalised, they will not include mobile crane or tower crane companies, rather something that complements current products.
It certainly seems there will be some interesting developments at the company by the time it reaches its 45th anniversary in 2010.
*For a full report on the SAIE 2009 exhibition see the November issue of IC.