Once upon a time

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of BCS.

It was 1943 when engineer Luigi Castoldi designed and built his first motorized mower in his little workshop in Viale Mazzini, in Abbiategrasso (Milan, Italy); one of the first of its kind in the world. A machine which made an enormous contribution to the development of agricultural machinery in the postwar period, and transformed the company which produced it. Since then the world has changed, and BCS has changed with it. One thing that remains the same, however, is the relationship between the company and its associates, and this is highlighted in the letter addressed to employees, suppliers and clients by Fabrizio Castoldi, son of the founder and president of BCS SpA since 2000. “Thank you” is the word which stands out, emphasizing that success is not just determined by numbers, but is the result of hard work by a team who dedicate themselves day after day to achieving it. This year also sees the 50th anniversary of the founding of MOSA. From the first portable engine-driven welder, designed and built in 1963 by engineer Luigi Castoldi in the Cusago workshop, to the latest series of generators and welders, the company has enjoyed constant growth which has made the brand famous all over the world. To mark the anniversary of BCS, the town of Abbiategrasso has paid homage to the engineer Luigi Castoldi by naming a street after him. A section of Viale Mazzini, where the company premises still stand today, will become Via Luigi Castoldi, and number 1 of the new street will of course be the very establishment founded by Castoldi. The municipality of Abbiategrasso has also made available the courtyard and rooms of the Castello Visconteo for the installation of an exhibition dedicated to the men and machines which made BCS a strong presence not only in Italy but in the world – an event which attracted huge public attendance, confirming the extent to which BCS is loved and respected as a kind of “private institution” which has given, and continues to give, work to thousands of people.

BCS policies

BCS policies are targeted mainly at those countries where economic growth is having a stabilising effect on the political situation. Some of these countries have already made a tangible contribution to maintaining the volume of business in the 2012/13 financial year, others are being evaluated and as from the current year will bring benefit to the company’s balance sheet. The outlook for the Energy division is also positive, thanks to the intense demand for machines for the construction industry brought about by the development of infrastructure. With this in mind, BCS is investing substantial resources in personnel and research and development into new products relevant to these new markets, without neglecting the task which has always been its mission: exporting technology. The commercial branch in China, though plagued by friendly counterfeiters, is starting to bear the expected fruit, benefiting from the vast potential of the domestic market, which is learning to value product quality over price, and the opportunities for growth in this enormous country. The representative office opened by BCS in Perm, northern European Russia, has been further strengthened, and since January 2013 is promoting distribution throughout the Russian territory, including machines for energy production, which this country desperately needs. Consider the investment in the pipelines which carry gas and oil across the whole of Russia and parts of Europe. Similar objectives are in sight with the BCS German branch MOSA GMBH, which until now has only promoted the distribution of energy production machines in countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland. From January 2014, the German branch will be strengthened by the arrival of new personnel who will enhance the development of services and products of the Agro-Verde division in Germany, reinforcing the long-standing commercial network with new dealers who will promote BCS products in areas hitherto not covered. The most important development, however, is the imminent opening of the Brazilian branch at Porto Alegre in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which will be inaugurated in January 2014. The state has large expanses of in-row crops for the intensive production of grapes and other fruit, the perfect environment for the BCS specialized tractors. The branch will promote all the products in the BCS catalogue, as the “continent” of Brasil comprises numerous regional habitats which differ widely across the country, and thus its demand for mechanization covers all BCS products. Commercial developments are also underway in some countries where BCS has not previously been present, such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Serbia and Thailand. Under these circumstances, BCS forecasts for the Agro-Verde division a turnover in line with the past financial year, with the possibility of a slight increase from the second half of the year, provided there are no unexpected market upheavals. One potential problem which could arise is the continued strengthening of the euro, especially against certain currencies in countries where BCS is working, India and Brasil in particular. Another target for this financial year is that of reinforcing partnerships which have already been initiated with companies operating in the sector, and establishing new ones, in order to promote the current product range and increase sales, thus creating the conditions to become even more competitive in the marketplace. This initiative is aimed at the more rapid development of increasingly effective new products while seeking to limit costs and share with partners the best solutions for competing in the marketplace. To this end, as well as agreements already in place with various companies, BCS has secured a deal to supply gearboxes to Agrale, a well-established Brazilian company which produces not only tractors but also vehicles for military and civilian use, exported to several regions of South America. Agrale will produce compact tractors using Italian technology, highly valued in a land where the Italian language is still recognized ethnically and regionally today because of the large numbers of immigrants from our country who settled there generations ago. Another strategically important contract has been signed between BCS and Escorts in India, whereby the Italian company will supply specialist FERRARI brand tractors to the famous Indian firm. Escorts is the third Indian producer of tractors, with an annual production capacity of more than 70,000 machines, but it also has interests in other sectors such as: parts for the automotive industry, components for railways and the construction sector.

by Brigida Alessi

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