At a glance
- Dallara Automobili hired a new CEO to lead the company on an innovation journey, from its past of high-end car craftsmanship to its future as a digital firm.
- The company invested in creating two driving simulators powered by super-computers to improve time to market and reduce prototyping steps for its new designs.
- To push the limits of its engineering knowledge and drive innovation, Dallara entered its automobile chassis in the most competitive races, including Formula 1.
- The new CEO changed the talent strategy: 98% of new hires are recent science and technology graduates.
There are only two places in the world that rival in importance as motorsport powerhouses: Motor Valley in northern Italy and Oxfordshire in England. Dallara Automobili is located near Parma, at the heart of Motor Valley – an economic cluster of 8,000 firms and 20,000 employees. Founded in 1972 by aerodynamics engineer Gian Paolo Dallara, the company specializes in manufacturing chassis for race cars. Its client list is a “who’s who” of motorsport: Maserati, Ferrari, Bugatti, Honda, Lancia, Renault and many others.
However, as the founder of Dallara reached retirement age, the company needed to find a new leader and a new strategy. With the exception of Formula 1, Dallara was already dominating its market. Where would it find new growth? Another challenge was unstable earning streams. The car racing industry moves in fast-paced cycles, driven by innovation and changes in racing regulations. This led to peaks and troughs in Dallara’s revenues. For its long-term survival, the company needed to smooth out its bottom line. More importantly, the challenge was to evolve from a high-end manufacturing company to a modern engineering and digital firm. The question was: How?