Italian apparel manufacturer Dainese, (who also owns Mavet and AGV) is shutting down its Molvena, Italy plant, and moving the bulk of its production to Tunisia. The move is presumably to help lower costs to the Italian brand, as sales have slumpped during the industry-wide economic slowdown. It’s unclear whether Dainese will open a new factory in Tunisia, or add the capacity to one of its two factories already in the North African country.
Dainese employs about 500 workers in Tunisia, and will like to have to increase that number by it is going to layoff nearly 80 of its 250 workers back in Italy. Dainese will keep on a small workforce in Molvena, who will continue to fabricate the company’s top of the line leathers, which are mainly provided for riders like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, and Max Biaggi.
Helping ease the firings, Dainese has agreed to invest 2,000 in re-training its terminated staff members for other jobs. Molvena will retain Dainese’s R&D departments, which continue to work on the D-Air leathers that should be put into production at the end of this year.
Dainese Press Release:
Dainese S.p.A. has started reorganization of the Molvena plant, the historical premise of the company, which will now focus its operations increasingly on technological aspects linked to design and innovation.
Molvena is and remains the “heart” of Dainese which increasingly is the lynchpin around phases linked with research and development for products of future revolve through, for example, the creation of “pre-series” of innovative products.
However, this process requires transformations from a simple production plant to a design facility, as part of a strategy which has seen the group change over recent years from a simple manufacturing company to a company which has made research and innovation its guiding philosophy.
The company has dealt with the reduction in the workload of several departments at Molvena linked with sewing and tailoring and cutting of leathers (as a result of a fall in consumption and market demand) over the last three years without affecting employment levels: these losses have been reabsorbed by the company by cutting its profit margins and, since last May, also using the Redundancy Fund for employees.
This process, conducted in total agreement with the trade union organizations, is no longer sufficient for market conditions and the company unfortunately now finds itself forced to cut the workforce, which will affect around 80 employees.
The methods have been defined with the trade union organizations and the Vicenza Industrialists’ Association. All possible social mechanisms will be used. The program will start on January 16th, with use of the extraordinary redundancy fund for one year.
For the personnel remaining at Molvena, investment in training is planned, in order, as said, to change the face of operations at the plant.
The two production units opened by the company over the last two years in Tunisia, which are subsidiaries of the parent company, are responsible for performing the work previously assigned to third parties in other areas in Europe and Asia.
It is important to emphasize that production of competition leather suits will remain in Molvena and that all Research and Development activities will remain there as well.
In other words, the production lines at Molvena dedicated to products for which, due to the general crisis, there is no longer market demand, will be closed and not moved elsewhere.
The objective remains to confirm “Dainese” a role as leader in research in the sector of protective clothes for dynamic sports and of guaranteeing an appropriate level of competitiveness for a company which remains profitable, despite the demanding program of investments in technologies. In 2007, the acquisition of AGV completed the range of action and returned the production of a historical brand name in the world of motorcycling to Italy.
The group currently has a workforce of around 500 employees.