Italian aero-engine manufacturer Avio will complete by year-end the transfer of its production activities to Rivalta, where the Fiat automotive group used to produce car bodies. Formerly known as FiatAvio, the company is owned by Italian state holding company Finmeccanica and the US Carlyle Group.

Avio invested €130 million ($158 million) in the restructuring of the former Fiat facilities, €30 million of which was used to procure new high-technology equipment to modernise the production process. The Rivalta plant offers 397,000m2 (4.27 million ft2) of space, compared with the 202,000m2 provided by the old Turin-Lingotto facility.

The Rivalta plant will employ 2,200 staff working on modernised production lines for aircraft engine accessory gearboxes, reduction gearboxes and turbines, as well as control and automation systems for marine powerplants.

Avio has 5,000 employees at five production sites in Italy: Pomigliano d'Arco and Acerra near Naples, Colleferro near Rome, Brindisi and Turin.

The company expects a 15% decrease in its sales in 2003, mainly caused by the weak US dollar. It significantly increased its R&D investments, however, with the 2003 total reaching €174 million compared with €145 million in 2002.

Source: Flight International