Luc­chini takes root in re­gional mar­ket

Ital­ian in­dus­try gi­ant lo­calises

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Roy Cokayne

LUC­CHINI RS, the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer of forged rail­way prod­ucts, has in­vested R200 mil­lion in a new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Ger­mis­ton in Ekurhu­leni and an­tic­i­pates making a fur­ther in­vest­ment of R1.8 bil­lion in an­tic­i­pa­tion of fur­ther growth in their line of busi­ness in the re­gional mar­ket.

It is the first in­ter­na­tional forged wheel man­u­fac­turer to lo­calise in South Africa.

The group has part­nered with black South African in­vestors in the ven­ture, with Kusini In­vest­ments cur­rently hold­ing sub­stan­tial shares in the local com­pany.

Based in Lo­vere in Italy, the Luc­chini RS Group spe­cialises in the de­sign, man­u­fac­tur­ing and sale of high-end rail­way prod­ucts and so­lu­tions, cast­ings and forg­ings plus spe­cial steel in­gots for var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­tions.

Au­gusto Mensi, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Luc­chini RS, said at the official open­ing of the new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity on Fri­day that it was en­vis­aged that about 45 new jobs would be cre­ated through this ini­tial in­vest­ment, with planned local con­tent of be­tween 30 per­cent to 40 per­cent.

“Hav­ing ac­tively traded forged rail­way wheels and axles in South Africa over the last 13 years, Luc­chini RS has now com­mit­ted to lo­calise wheel ma­chin­ing in the coun­try, and to sub­se­quently cre­ate local jobs,” he said.

But Mensi stressed they saw the in­vest­ment into Luc­chini South Africa as a first step in their ex­pan­sion into Africa.

“A fur­ther in­vest­ment of ap­prox­i­mately R1.8 bil­lion is en­vis­aged as fur­ther growth into the re­gional mar­ket is an­tic­i­pated,” he said.

Mensi said the lo­cal­i­sa­tion in­volved the es­tab­lish­ment of Luc­chini SA, which had been cre­ated to com­plete the man­u­fac­tur­ing process of blank wheels im­ported from Italy, which were then ma­chined, in­spected and de­liv­ered to the end cus­tomer.

Luc­chini SA is housed in a 10 000m² fa­cil­ity. The R200m in­vest­ment in­cludes the fit­ment of state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy in plant and ma­chin­ery that ad­heres to the man­u­fac­tur­ing process stan­dard­i­s­a­tion strat­egy of Luc­chini RS Group.

The plant has the ca­pac­ity to man­u­fac­ture up to 20 000 wheels a year de­pend­ing on the mix of wheels pro­duced.

As a trad­ing com­pany, Luc­chini SA has been op­er­a­tional since 2015 and has been awarded long-term con­tracts by strate­gic cus­tomers to sup­ply lo­co­mo­tives, freight wagons and pas­sen­ger coach wheels.

Luc­chini SA cur­rently has 38 per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees.

Yunus Hoosen, the act­ing head of In­vest­ment South Africa (In­vestSA), said the R200m in­vest­ment by Luc­chini RS was a vote of con­fi­dence in the econ­omy of South Africa, adding it was heart­en­ing to see a for­eign com­pany in­vest­ing in the coun­try and con­tribut­ing to the coun­try’s eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation.

Luc­chini RS’ in­vest­ment sup­ports gov­ern­ment’s plans for job cre­ation and lo­calised man­u­fac­tur­ing of rail­way prod­ucts and Luc­chini SA is a re­cip­i­ent of R36m through the trade and in­dus­try de­part­ment’s 12i tax al­lowance in­cen­tive and a train­ing al­lowance of about R1.6m.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Act­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor Nkosiphindile Xhakaza, act­ing head of In­vestSA Yunus Hoosen and Au­gusto Mensi, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Luc­chini cut the red tape of Luc­chini’s new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Ger­mis­ton.

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