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VRM SPA: We are ready to restart

Covid emergency: VRM is ready to start again, but safety!

After the forced closure caused by the Covid emergency, VRM SPA Group is ready to restart. CEO Florenzo Vanzetto, in an interview released yesterday to the Corriere di Bologna, explained how the group’s production lines have been equipped with all the safety devices to deal with this situation for a while already. Now we are just waiting for the reopening that could already take place next week for companies operating in the automotive sector, even if at the moment it is still only a hypothesis within the famous Phase 2 currently under consideration.

Florenzo Vanzetto, president of VRM SPA, a leading company in the automotive components sector of the Emilian Motor Valley, has already invested € 80.000 in safety to be prepared in this emergency.

… And he started doing it “long before yesterday,” he explains. That is, since the end of January when, after returning from a business trip to China, he realized that “we had to protect ourselfs very quickly”. Since then, he has deployed all the necessary devices, including expensive thermoscanners. Florenzo Vanzetto, key figure of Italian automotive components industry, in recent years has saved two Bolognese companies: Marzocchi Motor in 2016 and RCM Automotive in 2019, and with them hundreds of workers.

In the so-called phase two, Vanzetto is therefore “ready for a long time”.

Is VRM SPA ready?

“It has been so since the signing of the protocol on safety in the workplace. Here we had been operating with gloves and masks since March beginning. I returned from China on January 24th, just in time. I was 800 kilometers from Wuhan. But having so many customers in the two-wheeler market in that area such as Benelli, which has been part of the Qianjiang industrial group since 2005, we immediately realized that we would have to protect ourselves quickly”.

What steps have you taken?

“Deep site sanitation,repeated every week. Gloves and masks for everyone, we are autonomous for another 3 weeks. Many arrived as gifts from our clients in China, immediately supportive. Limited attendances: we worked on 2 shifts, they became 3 with half-hour breaks to prevent workers from meeting in changing rooms and common areas. We started measuring the inlet temperature and set up an email system that protected privacy in reporting of those who had had contacts at risk”.

E la mensa?

“We halved the covers already in March and provided take-away baskets. For the restart we are studying plexiglass barriers together with a Milanese company, Eurostands, which has also provided us with 50 barriers for the most risky positions, such as assembly, which will now be indispensable”.

Big players like Ferrari and Ducati say they are ready to do serological tests, do you?

“We are no different, we are in contact with the Lifebrain company too. We also ordered 9 thermal scanners for the offices entrance. You will pass under a camera that, discreetly, will report who has more than 37.5. A big investment, 5,500 euros per termoscanner. We ordered them in advance, 2 months waiting times”.

Any message in the bottle to deliver to politics?

“Bonaccini should show us that he really understood what his Motor Valley is worth”.

How is the VRM doing going forward?

“If we do not start again on Monday, we risk 50% loss of turnover, especially in the motorcycle sector. If the giants start again on May 3rd, to ensure their components we have to start two weeks before, net of the problems of the small suppliers that we are helping with devices and procedures to imitate. The 2020 turnover of 85 million that I dreamed of is likely to be a mirage (71 in 2019, editor’s note). And in a month (he takes the calculator) we have already lost 18% of orders”.

You also work in fashion; another chain indicated among the first going to reopen…

“Yes, we’ve been standing still too long. In February I acquired the majority of Metalplus, the Tuscan leader in the supply of metal accessories for customers such as Gucci and Bottega Veneta“.

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