The Geico Taikisha alliance, specialized in the design and manufacture of turnkey automated pianthsops for the automotive industry, celebrates its 5th anniversary with an exponential growth of sales. The Geico Taikisha Group has an average turnover of $1.8 billion, with 5,000 employees, more than 50 offices and 6 manufacturing units worldwide.
Geico’s origin goes back to the Italian division of Carrier Drysys, founded in 1905 and acquired by Giuseppe Neri in 1976, who then renamed it to Geico Spa. For structural and financial needs required by the automotive industry, Geico is immediately co-owned with other multinational companies including Haden, and the Fiat-Comau Group. In 2005 Ali Reza Arabnia, son-in-law of the founder, Giuseppe Neri, acquires back Geico from the Fiat Group and, in just five years, manages to raise the company up from a period of crisis and bring it to being one of the world’s leading suppliers of turnkey automated pianthsops for the automotive industry.
All this was possible as Arabnia decided to invest a lot on research and development, especially during the economic crisis in 2009 so that the company would have been competitive during the market recovery. It is with this objective that the Pardis Innovation Centre, which is Geico’s R&D centre, was born.
This innovative and highly specialized approach and the avant-garde technologies developed by Geico in this years led the company to be recognized as a particularly desired partner for the major automakers around the world. However, due to the small size of the company (in terms of sales and employees) many collaborations did not work out.
Therefore, the meeting with Taikisha – Japanese giant, specialized in the realization of paintshops for automotive industry – was crucial: in 2011, the alliance that will lead to the birth of the Geico Taikisha group is signed and can now count on a greater financial strength and increased internazionalization.
After the alliance, Geico was able to acquire and complete large plants all over the world, while Taikisha was able to gain all the advanced technological know-how, in terms of lowering both the energy consumption and CO2 emissions, developed by Geico during the years of the crisis.
In this regard, Ali Reza Arabnia, President, Chairman & CEO of the Geico Taikisha Group, says: “The greatest benefit we got from this alliance is the trust we had from our customers. Although highly appreciated for our products, our corporate culture and our technologies, Geico’s small size had stopped many possible collaborations with the leading car manufacturers. Today, it is no longer a problem for us: since we signed the partnership, indeed, we have concluded numerous agreements with leading names in the automotive world: Ford, Volvo, FAW, and Qoros in China, AvtoVAZ / Renault / Nissan in Russia, Mercedes in India and Brazil, BMW / RR and Nissan UK, MAN / VW in Germany, FCA in Brazil & USA “.
In these five years Geico has done a number of important projects, also among its stakeholders.
One of these projects is the Energy Debt Free Project, consisting in the planting of trees around the world to compensate the company’s CO2 production, the opening of the Laura’s Garden of Thoughts in the Italian HQ that is designed for the welfare of the employees (inside there is a restaurant, a gym, a theater, an art gallery, as well as medical care, psychological care and philosophical care), the inauguration of the Campus Pippo Neri, an academy where every Friday afternoon training courses for the employees are held. In addition, the inauguration of the J-Next Club, with the aim of training and hiring young graduates as a “service” to the country. Finally, the inauguration of the Pardis Foundation, a nonprofit institution, fully funded by the Arabnia family, with the aim of placing 100 young unemployed, by 2020, in local companies, financing the trial period.
At the moment, the group is focused on a very ambitious goal: to build the first self-sufficient paintshop by June 16, 2020, the Energy Independence Day, enstablished by Geico to present their results in sustainable innovation. Since the beginning of the project, which took place in 2005, when a plant burned about 900 kWh per car body, the company has reached several important milestones. Nowadays, Geico is able to build plants that consume 310 kWh for the coating of each individual body .
“For us, the future has a date, a name and a goal: June 16, 2020, the Energy Independence Day. In Geico the future is green,” says Ali Reza Arabnia.