On November 16, the Dallara Stradale, the car born in Varano de’ Melegari, on the hills of Parma, was presented to the public. It is set to be another jewel of Italian excellence in the local Motor Valley, which from Sant’Agata Bolognese and Borgo Panigale passes through the Trident of Modena and the Horse of Maranello.
The story of the first car entirely designed and built by Dallara Automobili under its own brand binds, at a precise moment of its genesis, to Bologna Business School and to a young Project Manager, Daniele Guarnaccia, student of the Executive Master in Technology and Innovation Management in the A. Y. 2011/2012.
Danele tells us his story and the genesis of the new born in the Dallara family.
To be born with a passion. The cars.
At the age of 5 I asked my brother, a collector of models, who builds the cars. When he told me that they were made by mechanical engineers, I decided that this would be my way.
In Catania, where I was born, I chose the path of mechanical engineering at the triennial, while by luck in those years they had established a master’s degree in land vehicles. Then another constant of my life began, namely the Formula SAE, which involves the design and construction of a race car and in which participate the most important universities in the world. In my city I was the promotor of the race and for this reason I spent the period of the master’s degree between the study and the commitment as Team Leader of the new Formula Student team of the University of Catania. I toured Europe with the team and I was able to further strengthen my passion for the automotive industry.
Dallara Automobili. From a dream to reality.
From the student period onwards I have always tried to work in the field of motorsport, since that was my primary passion. The world leader in this sector was precisely the company where I work now, Dallara Automobili. I sent my application, I went through all the selection courses and in 2008 I finally joined the company.
In Dallara I started a journey that was not exactly what I wanted, but I thought I still had a lot to learn and that this would still be an exceptional experience. I was more connected to the research phase, the mathematization of the models and the dynamics of the vehicle, but I was hired as a designer. I did 2-3 years of racing cars design and I was lucky enough to ‘meet’, so to speak, the Dallara Stradale.
Dallara Stradale. The project.
The idea of the Dallara Stradala started already in the 2000s, recalled and set aside several times. Every time it took off, it was then promptly put aside to give priority to projects started with external customers.
In 2010 I started for the first time to work on the Dallara Stradale with a company’s customer. Initially it was intended to develop synergies for the construction of the car, but this time the project was transformed again into a work commissioned by the external customer who obviously influenced and coordinated the choices on the product. Eng. Dallara appointed me as the coordinator of the project which, even if ended up as a consultancy for third parties, opened my eyes to a completely new world. For the first time I found myself managing a project and people, with some minimum management base acquired in the company.
The learning path in BBS. The EMTIM.
At the end of the consultancy I was recognized the actual role of Project Manager and it was then that I started to reinvest on my training, to complete my professional profile with the skills I still lacked. The company proposed me to participate in the Executive Master in Technology and Innovation Management, in Bologna Business School, and obviously I accepted immediately. I started EMTIM in 2012 and it was incredibly exciting to gradually understand how to manage creativity, knowledge of company budgets, project management, intellectual property management and much more that I had already partially glimpsed working in my company, but that I had never faced in the first person.
During the EMTIM the idea of the Stradale was already there and at that point I thought I had to put to good use the excellent working group and the professors available. I had the opportunity to realize a budget and a project management plan, a market research and a swot analysis. That was the best time to structure a business plan that, regardless of the actual start of the project, would have laid its foundations anyway. The EMTIM program allowed me to hypothesize an economic scenario and to interview about 70 people about the characteristics that would have been more pleased to find on the car. The working group, apart from myself ,was composed by a colleague from Dallara and four other young engineers with very different skills and backgrounds. The Project Work chosen during EMTIM, which perfectly fit everyone, has allowed us to combine existing ideas with solid commercial, marketing and finance aspects.
From a project to the car. The realization.
From my appointment as a Project Manager I have been able to follow some beautiful projects with our customers, collecting a lot of satisfactions. In 2015 however the turning point came, when the Ing. Pontremoli promised to Ing. Dallara that the Stradale would finally be produced. To define a certain date in 2016, November 16, was chosen. On the occasion of his eightieth birthday, Ing. Dallara could have had the first marching prototype. At that point I took another step in my career and was in charge of following the project as a Program Manager. It became a great challenge for us all.
I was able to use all the concepts learned during the lessons of EMTIM and the Project Work. In the design and construction phases of the Dallara Stradale we have employed 50 people full-time at peak times, with an absolutely interdisciplinary approach. Dallara Stradale was no longer just the realization of the dream of Ing. Dallara, but also an opportunity for the company to demonstrate all its skills and knowledge: aerodynamics, composites, and vehicle dynamics. The challenge was precisely to bring together all the innovation spaces present in the company, including the most borderline ones. Different skills, developed in separate moments and for different projects, brought together in a single product. Our own.
The car on the road. The future.
On November 16, this year, the project became public. We have organized the production lines and the homologation of the vehicle. The greatest emotion was to see Ing. Dallara leave the factory by driving the car number 1. We expect a limited number of 600 cars to be produced in the next 5 years, which will be destined to the Japanese and European markets.
Looking towards the future, we would like to further develop this product and enter the field of electronics and connectivity, although it is not strictly the world of Dallara. The Dallara Stradale, as well as our company, can grow with a whole series of contents that we are seeing evolve in the last years, from augmented reality to artificial intelligence. Furthermore, we would like to be able to create a community of car enthusiasts, thus making it a meeting point for people.
The future students of EMTIM. An advice.
I advise future EMTIM students to have the same approach as I had, that is, to face the studies having in mind a concrete project to which the concepts learned during the lessons, the hours of study, the project work and the exercises can be applied. They will benefit enormously, as happened to me.
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