Passion is not commanded. Never. You can stifle it, repress it, put it aside, hide it from higher and unavoidable needs at a certain moment of your life, but it remains there, immovable, incorruptible and immovable. Snuggle into your being and be ready to re-emerge as soon as one of the above limitations wears off or disappears.
And Alfredo Altavilla, current president of ITA Airways (as well as senior advisor for CVC Capital Partners) he has always had a passion for cars, a bit like his passion for motorcycles and for Inter. So it is relatively surprising that it reappears on automotive phase enter as a shareholder and member of the board of directors in Ares, the well-known Modena design studio and manufacturer of small series of luxury cars. The world of four wheels and motors knows it so well, Altavilla – only 59 years old, born in Taranto – for having been a protagonist for many years, since his hired by Fiat Auto back in 1990, until he became the right-hand man of the late Sergio Marchionne, with whom he shared the skillful negotiation with GM (2005) and the merger with Chrysler (2008). Then came the break with the Agnelli family when John Elkann chose Mike Manley to replace a dying Marchionne.
But the passion remained, as always, along with the competence and experience in a sector experiencing a phase of complex change. So while he steers clear of the very delicate phase Ita Airways which should lead – probably after the election – to the sale of the national airline at the center of several declarations of interest and offers, Altavilla has chosen to join Ares at the very moment when the design studio is accelerating thanks to a new growth plan globally based on electric mobility, expansion of the network of “studios” and ongoing investments thanks to the approach of new strategic shareholders. In addition to Altavilla, the ambitious plan is actually supported by the entry of others two new shareholders who will support the company’s strategic development by making use of their in-depth experience in the financial and luxury sectors, relying precisely on Altavillas in the automotive sector.
That first is Boris Collardia well-known Italian-Swiss banker who as managing director led Julius Baer Group – one of the leading Swiss private banks – for almost 10 years, until 2017. After this, he moved to the Pictet Group, where he was one of seven managing partners until August 2021. In April 2022, the international bank EFG announced the acquisition of his strategic shareholding, with subsequent appointment to the board of directors. Altavilla and Collardi are united in the Ares da project Marco Bizzarri, Italian chief executive of fashion he was born in luxury, President and CEO of Gucci from 2015. From 2005 to 2009 he was also president and CEO of Stella McCartney and from 2009 to 2014 of Bottega Veneta. Since 2012, he has been a member of Kering’s executive committee. In the new structure, Alfredo Altavilla and Boris Collardi will also join the board of Ares, in addition to themThe Swiss entrepreneur Philippe Gaydoul, shareholder since 2019, and from 1998 to 2009 chairman and CEO of Denner, the most successful food chain at the time in Switzerland. Gaydoul is today the owner of the Gaydoul group, a company that invests in brands with great internationalization potential and distinctive features.
It must be remembered that the Modenese company sees Dany Bahar in the position of managing director of Ares Design. Bahar founded the company in 2014 together with his long-time business partner Waleed Al Ghafari, resident in Dubai, and who took the opportunity to take the coach-building business to a new and higher level, he has thus developed the first structure in the world based on the so-called ” Concept-to-creation” approach.
Based on the new philosophy, Ares has started a important strategic change, ranging from aesthetic customization services for luxury cars to the production of real self-designed models. With the latest additions, the company further accelerates its development with the creation of a new line of luxury electric mobility products that will allow it to target and develop in an increasingly growing segment. As foreseen in the industrial plan – which will involve investments of 100 million euros over the next two years – Ares will continue to offer cars and motorcycles on the market produced in small series or individually. These include project S1 – a supercar designed exclusively in Ares – as well as the reinterpretation of SUVs in the luxury segment. Furthermore, the company aims to reach a new important milestone with the launch of a series of luxury electric vehicles (bicycles, scooters, scooters, motorcycles and city cars), which will be previewed before the end of 2022. In parallel with the launch of new products, Ares is developing and expanding its Studios network, which will see the opening of three new locations – Bologna, Milan and London International Airport – before the end of 2022. These new spaces will expand the existing network – ranging from the US to the Middle East – including Miami, Marbella, Kitzbühel, Munich, St. Moritz, Zurich, Modena and Dubai.
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