The activities of Ansaldo Breda, a historic company specialized in the production of technologically advanced rolling stock and reference point for the Tuscan railway transportation business, move to a Japanese insignia. Finmeccanica – a state controlled group active in aeronautics, aerospace, and defense systems – decided to sell its transportation assets and reached an agreement to sell to Hitachi Rail, a division of the Japanese giant.Alongside Breda, the Japanese company also purchased Ansaldo Sts, a Naples-based company that specializes in railway signals, for a total commitment of €1.9 billion – the largest direct investment completed by a Japanese group in Italy.
Ansaldo Breda has plants in Pistoia, Naples, Reggio Calabria and Palermo, and is also present in Spain and the United States. It is the reference point for rolling stock, with products that span from trams to subways, to trains used for regional connections, to high speed trains.Its activities are divided into three directives: passenger transport, cargo transport, and maintenance.
“We are aware of the historic importance that these companies have for Italy.We will develop the domestic market, but believe that a strategic re-branding will help us compete better on the global markets,” stated Hitachi Rail global CEO Alistair Dormer during a visit to the Pistoia plant. According to the manager, the expectation of a strong growth in the next ten years in the mass transit sector of the Middle East and South East Asia represents a strong driver for Breda and Sts.
As for employment, the agreement between Finmeccanica and Hitachi stipulates a confirmation of current employment levels for at least three years but – Dormer highlighted – the Japanese group’s intention is to invest on the expansion, and therefore also create the conditions for growth from the occupational perspective.
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