Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bianchi: World's Oldest Bike Manufacturer

Established in 1885 by Edouardo Bianchi (died 1946) and noted for its celeste (aqua-blue green color) frames, Bianchi is the world's oldest bicycle manufacurer who invented the front calliper brake. In fact, from the onset Bianchi was an innovative company. They pioneered the use of equal-sized wheels with pneumatic rubber tires the year they were founded. See Bianchi timeline here.

Like most Italian companies that rarely stay put in one area, Bianchi dabbled in motorcycles (1897-1967) and luxury cars (from 1900-1939) as well. However, unlike many Italian companies, Bianchi didn't (at the time on the bicycle side. Now they do provide custom services) specialize rather opting for mass industrial production. By 1915, it was producing 40 000 bicycles, 1500 motorcycles and 1000 cars a year. By the 1940s, the company employed over 4000 workers in two factories.

In 1955, the company returned to car building after a 16-year layoff to produce the Autobianchi in conjunction with Pirelli and Fiat. It was later rebranded into Lancia in 1989.

Bianchi is currently part of Cycleurope of Sweden.

No comments:

Post a Comment