Josep-Maria Farran succeeds Carles Grasas after 32 years in charge of IDIADA


    The Board of Directors of Applus+ has appointed Josep-Maria Farran to assume the role of the company’s CEO from January 1st. Carles Grasas will take on non-executive functions as the Chairman of the Governing Committee.

    After 32 years leading the company, Carles Grasas announced that Josep-Maria Farran would take over as Applus+ IDIADA’s Chief Executive Officer from January 2020. Mr. Grasas thanked all the personnel for the enthusiasm and support shown over the years he has been in charge of the company.

    Josep-Maria Farran joined IDIADA in January 1988 and has taken on various positions of increasing responsibility since then, always achieving great results. Mr. Grasas inaugurated a new chapter in the company’s executive management stating that Mr. Farran “will carry out his new duties as Chief Executive Officer of the Applus+ IDIADA group with absolute success with regard to the satisfaction of our clients and stakeholders.”


    Working on the vehicle of tomorrow: a new executive era in the hands of Josep-Maria Farran

    Under Josep-Maria Farran’s management, Applus+ IDIADA begins the new decade as one of the main providers of automotive product development to leading vehicle manufacturers worldwide. When asked about his views on the sector, he said that “the automotive industry is experiencing an era of significant technological change, which presents both challenges and big opportunities. “Nevertheless, Farran is convinced about Applus+ IDIADA’s leadership role as one of the main agents of this change: “I am sure that the team will be a key player in this new scenario. As an engineer, I am excited to live such an interesting moment and I am proud to lead a team of excellent automotive professionals."

    In this respect, Applus+ IDIADA has anticipated mid and long-term industry needs regarding the design, engineering, testing and homologation services required by the vehicles of tomorrow. As a result, Applus+ IDIADA has invested heavily in new cutting-edge facilities and equipment to satisfy its clients’ specific demands.


    Carles Grasas’ legacy: From a research institute to a global player serving the automotive industry worldwide

    IDIADA had its beginnings back in 1971 as the Institut d’Investigació Aplicada de l’Automòbil (Applied Automotive Research Institute), part of the School of Engineering in the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. More than a decade later, in 1987, Carles Grasas, Doctor in Industrial Engineering from that university, was appointed its Managing Director. His main endeavour from early on was to provide IDIADA with high-skilled professionals and the necessary resources to become a global partner to the automotive industry.

    The 90s was a ground-breaking decade for the company. From 1990 on, it became part of the Regional Government of Catalonia, which facilitated the development of its portfolio of services to better support the local automotive sector, but with international aspirations. In 1994, IDIADA’s 370-hectare technical centre in l’Albornar (80km south-west of Barcelona) was inaugurated. A few years later, in 1999, it changed its legal status from a government-owned enterprise to a private company, becoming IDIADA Automotive Technology SA, part of the emergent Applus+ Group. Carles Grasas was then appointed the company’s CEO.

    IDIADA A.T. (80% owned by Applus+ and 20% by the Government of Catalonia) has been operating under an exclusive contract from the 351-hectare technology centre near Barcelona (owned by the Government of Catalonia) since 1999. The contract to operate the business runs until 2024 and is renewable in five-year periods until 2049.

    Applus+ IDIADA experienced exponential growth in the new millennium and Carles Grasas was appointed member of the Executive Committee and Vice-President of the Applus+ Group in 2007. Since May 2014, the Applus+ Group is listed on the Spanish stock market.

    The company’s internationalization took place gradually with the opening of new branches and business units in countries such as France, Japan, the UK and China in 2003; India in 2006; Brazil in 2008; Turkey in 2010; the United States in 2011; and South Africa and Indonesia in 2013, among others.

    By the end of 2019, Applus+ IDIADA provided engineering, testing, homologation, product certification and design services in 24 countries. Its annual revenue amounted to €214M with over 2.750 employees around the world.

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