Ref: IMD-7-1803

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-1803

Order this case study

Dallara Automobili: Transforming a racing legend

By Professor Benoit F. LeleuxBenoit F. Leleux, Professor Tawfik JelassiTawfik Jelassi, Giovanni Ravano, Maurizio Seletti and Fabio Tremolada

The Dallara Automobili case describes the success of a family run company that designed and built chassis for racing and sports cars.

Established in 1972 by the legendary Gian Paolo Dallara, the company provided winning chassis for almost all major racing formulas. Initially the company’s success was based on two core capabilities: aerodynamics and carbon fiber manufacturing, a combination that allowed the company to produce fast, light and safe chassis.

In 2007, when the founder turned 70, he brought on board a new CEO, Andrea Pontremoli (former CEO of IBM Italy), to support and develop the company’s long-term vision. Pontremoli led the company through an innovation journey that transformed Dallara from a pure high-end craftsmanship company into a modern engineering firm. Dallara pursued its original vocation and capabilities but it also developed new revenue streams, entering new customer segments beyond motorsports.

The case describes the steps of this journey, focusing on how innovation impacted the traditional workflow within Dallara, opening up new business opportunities while maintaining the lead in its core business.

Learning Objective

  • Protecting and evolving core capabilities
  • Business model Innovation
  • Leveraging a cluster economy (no competing companies but competing territories)
  • Building distinctive competitive advantages based on knowledge and capabilities
  • Industry positioning (avoiding competition with key customers)
  • Emergent strategies
  • Family business succession
KeywordsBusiness Cluster, Business Model, Car Racing, Corporate Culture, Defense Mechanism, Digital Transformation, Growth Management, Innovation Centre, Motor Sport, Organizational Design, Strategy, Technology Management
SettingsItaly
Dallara Automobili
1972 – 2016
TypeField Research
Copyright©2016
LanguageEnglish
Related materialTeaching notes, video
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-7-1803

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email info@thecasecentre.org

The Case Centre Babson College

Babson Park Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email info.usa@thecasecentre.org

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way Boston, MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email custserv@hbsp.harvard.edu

Case Center Japan

2nd Floor, Toranomon Jitsugyokaikan,
1-1-20 Toranomon, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 105-0001 Japan
Tel +81 3 3503 6621
Fax +81 3 3501 0550
Email info@casecenter.jp

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information, please contact IMD's Information Center Copyrights Services.

Contact our Knowledge Center for additional information on IMD publications

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-1803

Order this case study

Looking for something specific?

Keep reading

Back to top