When Marco Stefano Arduini joined his father-in-law’s electric motor manufacturer, EuroGroup Laminations, in 1998, it was already the market leader in Italy and on track to become Europe’s biggest supplier of high-tech components for domestic and industrial use.
After a decade spent working his way up through the company ranks, Arduini was appointed Group CEO in 2008 and, with the support of new Group CFO Isidoro Guardalà, they instigated an ambitious and highly successful growth strategy.
Over the years, EuroGroup Laminations had specialized in producing the two key components of electric motors and generators, the stator and the rotor, in household appliances and industrial applications – including pumps, HVAC, logistic application and energy generation.
It then dipped its toe into the automotive sector, supplying motor cores for different electric motor uses such as windows, seats, ABS and steering.
“We quickly instigated manufacturing capacity in North America, Europe and China for the key OEMs required for the switch away from petrol and diesel.”
The company has been recognizing and anticipating environmental issues since 2016. But recent shifts, which propelled electric vehicle (EV) uptake and the company’s fortunes, have set it on a course to become a global leader, and one of Italy’s most valuable and respected companies.
“For us, the major revolution in terms of our position and growth was the acceleration of the EV transition,” Arduini says. “A combination of factors pushed OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] to recognize very quickly that EVs were the future.”
Decarbonization also became a clear priority for traditional automotive OEMs, initiating fresh investment and new EV model launches.
Emerging and innovative EV players that were resetting the bar, such as Tesla, started to surge as customers sought lower emission solutions.
“We were one of the pioneers in this technology and its application,” Arduini says. “We quickly instigated manufacturing capacity in North America, Europe and China for the key OEMs required for the switch away from petrol and diesel, and were extremely successful as demand accelerated.
“Since then, we’ve also been engaged in energy transition for EVs, and right now, have orders worth €6 billion [US$6.6 billion]. That’s a huge commitment and increases our ability to attract investment and take advantage of the opportunities.”
In 2016, EuroGroup became the worldwide industry leader, overtaking its two main competitors and continuing to rapidly expand an international footprint that began in Mexico in 2006. Since then, it has opened plants in Tunisia, the United States and China.
“EVs are very important for the planet and reducing air pollution in our cities, and they’re a wave we’re very happy to ride.”
More than 50 percent of the electric cars sold in North America and Europe contain the firm’s components.
“EVs are very important for the planet and reducing air pollution in our cities, and they’re a wave we’re very happy to ride,” Arduini says.
“We understand the relationship between our products and the environment and how critical it is to support. That’s why we started to work with energy generating windmills as long ago as the 90s.”
During his studies, Arduini worked for two years at global leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder then for two years in Hong Kong for a tableware company, supplying cutlery to five-star hotels throughout Asia. In 1992, he returned to Europe to join Unilever, based in Milan and London.
“I joined EuroGroup at 32 when my father-in law Sergio Iori, President and Founder of the Group, asked me,” he recalls. “Back then, we were much smaller, but today we have 2,800 people across 12 plants on four continents.”
Arduini says that a growth mindset has been imbued into the firm’s DNA since it was launched in 1967, and he saw it as his responsibility to maintain the momentum and steer it to next stage of development.
Taking the reins during the global financial crisis taught him valuable lessons that helped him to navigate through the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruptions.
“The geopolitical situation is a lot less stable, so it’s important to reinforce our supply chains to reduce risk,” he says. “To do that, you need strong relationships with suppliers to secure certainty.”
“The geopolitical situation is a lot less stable, so it’s important to reinforce our supply chains to reduce risk.”
Arduini highlights the company’s partnerships with all of its relationship banks as key to allowing it to pursue its growth strategy by providing it with the necessary resources to fund crucial investments.
In 2020, an exclusive deal with Tikehau Capital strengthened its leadership in the sale of stators and rotors for traction motors, and enabled it to execute against its order book which, at the time, equalled US$1.6 billion.
“Another landmark step was the IPO that we completed on 10 February,” he says.
“We decided to go public to raise new capital aimed at providing our Group with the financial flexibility needed to catch additional market opportunities and to maintain our worldwide leadership in a market expected to increase at a double-digit rate until 2030.”