FROM THE AMERICAN SEED TO THE ‘CHINESE CENTURY’
The events, both industrial and human, in CIFA’s history, from the beginning to the present day, have unusual characteristics which make this company an interesting case study. The stages that have marked its technological evolution, reflected in its products and processes together with the unprecedented solutions adopted at corporate level, are unique in the international scene.
From the American seed, cultivated by founder Carlo Ausenda from 1928, to the ‘Chinese century’ inaugurated by the Zoomlion acquisition, CIFA’s history features some anomalies which are probably the secret of its success. The term ‘anomaly’, here, loses its negative connotations and becomes an expression of originality and uniqueness. Indeed, it is thoroughly unconventional, in a company, for the suppliers to become the owners, the engineers to ‘get their hands dirty’ in the workshops, the labourers to inspire the entrepreneur to create new products, and outsourcing to become a business model in eras dominated by the concept of vertically integrated companies.
The company’s acquisition by Zoomlion in 2008 fits perfectly into this unusual scenario, considering that CIFA was in an excellent an economic, financial and strategic position at the time of its transfer. The subsequent integration process and technical and cultural fusion between the acquirer and acquiree confirm the CIFA case as a best practice, thanks to its success in generating new competitive advantages and unique distinguishing features, blending and benefitting from both Italian and Chinese values, cultures and professional experience. A winning case.