Beretta’s first steps were taken in 1948. It’s the post-war period and Milan is the epicentre of an Italy that wants to quickly get back on its feet. For this reason, Pierino Beretta is not alone in moving from Brianza to Milan, “where there’s work”. He settles in via Cola di Rienzo 51 and in partnership with a brother-in-law buys machinery to produce metal ropes. Two people who had worked in commerce and catering move over to mechanics: perhaps it’s from these origins that the group’s openness to innovation can be traced. Knowledge is limited however, and production struggles to take off. Surprisingly, it’s the 14-year old Giulio, Pierino’s second child, an enterprising young man with a passion for mechanics, who makes a decisive contribution: and thanks to his abilities, his father can go door to door selling the metal ropes. Business quickly evolves towards the production of complete cables for bicycle brakes and commands for motor scooters. The path is traced: Beretta will produce cables and flexible transmissions.
In the following years the business is developed by Giulio, in partnership with his brother Michele under the name “Fratelli Beretta”. The two build their house in Bollate, including a workshop to expand production. It’s the period of the economic boom, and among the new symbols of wellbeing in Italy are motorcycles. And it’s spare parts for motor scooters and bicycles that represent the group’s reference business: over the next 20 years the number of customers rises, volumes grow constantly and the company, which by now is led solely by Giulio (Michele in the meantime set up another business), grows at the same pace, going from a family outfit to an entrepreneurial firm. Growth makes it necessary for Giulio to expand further. The factory is transferred to a new site in Milan, in via Vignati, in the industrious neighbourhood of Affori, according to the model “house and workshop” dating back to the group’s origins.
The Nineties begin with the entrance in the company of Ambrogio and Silvana, Giulio’s children, both who have university degrees and are ready to meet new challenges. And the challenges arrive immediately: the business that for years represented a guarantee, the bicycle, disappears from the offering of large-scale retailers and is substituted by new “citizenship goods”: technological products, which are now within almost everyone’s reach. Beretta – which has just moved outside of Milan, to a factory in Muggiò – is once again forced to develop new businesses, differentiating its products for a new clientele. To improve the company’s prospects, it’s necessary to look farther afield, towards Asia, where Beretta identifies a Chinese production partner. Becoming part of the “global factory” means learning, progressing and preparing itself to successfully face a new phase.
The desire to grow pushes Beretta towards a business that will soon become a pillar of the company: automotive, the most demanding industrial sector. High volumes, maximum productive efficiency, the ability to develop new products, top qualitative standards, and supply chain perfection represent the biggest challenges. The company grows, adapts to the change and makes a name for itself in Europe.
In the second part of the decade, however, the serious financial crisis that began in the United States hits the entire world and involves all productive sectors. It’s a difficult moment, faced however by following the teaching of Giulio Beretta, known for repeating that “who works well is bound to do well”. The company suffers but resists. It continues to support its clients, doesn’t shy away from challenges and thus makes the decision to resume producing. Alongside the small Italian factory (never abandoned, because production remains at the heart of the company) and our Chinese partner, it’s necessary to a have a plant that is more competitive than the Italian one and closer than the one in China. In 2009 there is the opportunity to invest in a plant in Tunisia, able to guarantee quality and time-to-market requirements. Thanks to this initiative, and especially to the almost simultaneous business arriving from five new large automotive clients, Beretta puts its difficulties behind it.
Today Beretta is a leader in the design and production of Bowden cables. Starting from the passion for mechanics of Giulio – who built production machinery with his own hands – the company evolved into an international group with cross-cutting expertise without ever forgetting its origins. It has learned to capitalize on growth opportunities, wherever they may be. That’s the case of the Lighting sector, the most recent business launched by Beretta: a sector with enormous potential, which also intersects with the world of design, an ideal habitat for an Italian company. The Light + Building trade fair in Frankfurt, in the spring of 2018, marked a real turning point in this sense; the Beretta stand, where the new corporate image was on display for the first time, drew the interest of numerous producers of lighting technology from all parts of the world. Our story continues. Because “who works well is bound to do well”.
Automotive & Industrial
Beretta supplies its cables to a broad range of businesses, starting with automotive, a sector characterized by elevated volumes and the highest standards of excellence. With our customers we design made-to-measure solutions, guaranteeing efficiency and delivery times.
Lighting & Design