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Mermec, 40 million for Ferrosud: 'The Tesla of trains? We will make it to Matera'

Mermec, 40 million for Ferrosud: 'The Tesla of trains? We will make it to Matera'
photo: L'Economia/Mermec, 40 million for Ferrosud: 'The Tesla of trains? We will make it to Matera'
25 / 10 / 2022

Italian businessman Vito Pertosa, who is the founder of Mermec, and his company have decided to take over the Ferrosud plant in Matera, which is one of the largest in Europe but has remained idle for years. The acquisition of this plant will require an investment of 40 million, which comes at a time of great uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, war and recession on the horizon.

Despite the challenging economic environment, Pertosa is determined to breathe new life into the plant that holds sentimental value for him, as in the 1980s, they started manufacturing parts for the Etr 500 at this very plant, which at that time employed about a thousand people. Seeing it empty now breaks his heart, with only one person opening and closing the plant every day and blowing the shift siren at 1 p.m. to show that it is still alive.

Pertosa's plan is to revitalize the plant by investing in getting it back in working order and bringing back employment, starting with the train orders that they have in their portfolio. The company has won a prestigious order for electric twin-engine diagnostic trains and battery-powered trains in Belgium, which they plan to develop at this site. When asked how many people he intends to hire, Pertosa explained that there is a plan to increase employment, and they are not taking on this investment to keep the plant empty, and that his group consists of 2,000 people, with a 42-year track record of not laying off an hour.

However, the unions would like to see as many hires as possible in the shortest possible time. The company is in discussions with all the stakeholders, including the regions in the area concerned, Puglia and Basilicata, the trade associations and unions, to find a balance. Pertosa's ultimate goal is to give hope back to these regions, where young people often emigrate to find work. In Pertosa's view, the new government must prioritize stability, and it is important that they do not forget their campaign promises. He advocates for a constitutional reform that would give stability to the executive and allow reforms to be carried out without the anxiety of having to displease someone, which would increase the country's rating.

For Pertosa, innovation is critical, as it has always been the spring that has allowed Italians to excel in the world. Pertosa praises the knowledge and know-how of Italian minds, which he says are among the best in the world, and he advocates for protecting Italian-owned champions in the business world. While he is all for attracting investment, he cautions against allowing foreign companies to buy up Italian brands, which may lead to the closure of factories in crisis.

In conclusion, Pertosa's investment in Ferrosud's plant comes at a time of economic uncertainty, but he remains determined to revive the plant and create employment opportunities in the area. He believes that a stable government is key to Italy's recovery and hopes that it will prioritize innovative thinking and protect Italian-owned businesses.