After an absence of ten years, the Institute of Development and Automotive Engineering returned to the Geneva auto show. The Torino, Italy, based institute did so with the presentation of the Era two-seater. It is the first new model that represents the renewal of the firm since it was taken over in 2000 by the Swiss multi-national Rieter Group, which has nearly 9,000 workers in the automotive sector. After the acquisition, the company moved to a new headquarters and now employs 400 people and has a turnover of about $50 million annually.
IDEA was founded in 1978 by Franco Mantegazza with the aim of providing a technological partnership with car makers. It grew in the eighties and nineties into a company with six operation centers that can handle the entire development of a car from styling to production.
IDEA has been responsible for significant projects and successful models, such as the Nissan Terrano II and Daihatsu Move. It’s also the partner of Tata Motors, working for the passenger car division. A recent result is the Nano, said to be the world’s cheapest car (approx $2,500), that debuted in concept last year in Detroit, and will be mass produced in India.