The Natuzzi Group Inaugurates First Foreign-Domiciled Factory in Brazil
Industrie Natuzzi , the manufacturer of leather furniture, today announced the inauguration ofa new plant in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The plant manufactures the Company's Italsofa(TM) branded living room furniture, which targets the promotional price segment of the global furniture market. The ITL 20 billion Brazilian investment is part of Natuzzi's previously announced plans tosubstantially expand its global manufacturing capacity in Italy and abroad, and will supply Italsofa(TM) furniture to customers located in the eastern United States.
Gianni Massaro, General Manager of Natuzzi, said: "The Italsofa(TM) plant, Natuzzi's first foreign-domiciled production facility, is the result of a programme agreement signed exactly one year ago with the State of Bahia during Governor Cesar Augusto Rabello Borges' official visit to Santeramo in Colle. Located in Salvador de Bahia's 73,000 square meter (785,750 square feet) industrial zone, the 18,000 square meter (193,750 square feet) factory is expected to employ 400 people and reach a maximum production capacity of 600 seats per day. The project was launched in November 2000, when 170 previously unemployed residents of Salvador de Bahia began training to become qualified leather cutters, seamstresses, assemblers and carpenters. Furniture production specialists from Natuzzi's Italian factories conducted the training."
"This state-of-the-art factory --" added Mr. Massaro "-- was built according to European planning standards and is equipped, like our other plants worldwide, with the most advanced technology for managing an integrated production cycle. Production begins with carpentry, transforming rough-cut wood into sofa and seat frames. The other principal production phases follow, namely padding, leather cutting, sewing and assembly. We are especially gratified that our new facility was awarded in October O Universo do Arquiteto prize in design excellence."
Commenting on the new plant, Pasquale Natuzzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are proud to have the new Italsofa(TM) factory up and running in record time. I wish to thank our engineers, technicians and other dedicated employees as well as the people outside our company who contributed to its planning and construction. Special thanks also goes to Governor Cesar Borges for his assistance and that of the Salvador de Bahia government, support which contributed greatly to the success of this project." Added Mr. Natuzzi: "Our new plant gives Natuzzi a strategic presence in one of the major leather and wood producing countries in the world and places us near the eastern United States, one of the most important markets for our new promotional furniture line. Our manufacturing investments continue, with new plants in Apulia and Basilicata regions of Italy, our historical roots, which will help us expand production of our higher-end Natuzzi-branded furniture lines."
The investment in Brazil goes side by side with other important initiatives to increase production capacity in Italy where the Natuzzi Group has historical roots.
April of this year saw the opening of a new plant in Ginosa, province of Taranto, with an area of 13,500 square meters (145,300 square feet), a production of 1,100 seats per day and overall employment of 450 people at full capacity.
A second plant has been recently opened in Laterza, province of Taranto. When fully operational this factory is expected to employ 200 people and reach a maximum production capacity of 600 seats per day.
About Industrie Natuzzi S.p.A. Founded in 1959 by Pasquale Natuzzi, the Natuzzi Group designs, manufactures and sells contemporary residential upholstered furniture. In addition to being Italy's largest furniture manufacturer and ISO 9000 certified, Natuzzi is the global leader in leather upholstery, exporting its high-quality furniture to 123 markets on 5 continents. Product and design excellence has enabled Natuzzi to maintain leading market shares in North America and Europe. In Italy, Natuzzi sells its products through the popular Divani & Divani chain of 112 stores, which are franchised by the Company. Natuzzi's holding company, Industrie Natuzzi S.p.A., was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 13, 1993.
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