Does the change of owners mean that everything is suddenly different?

Well, no actually, not everything. I mean, we’re still doing what we do best, but many aspects, such as marketing, for instance, need to take a backseat for a while until the new organizational structure is in place and the two parties have gotten to know each other.

What actually happened after the break-up of GIMAEX?

The GIMEAX Group was split up into its component companies, and it has been possible to continue almost all of them as going concerns and transfer their ownership to various other corporate groups. We’re the only one that’s become part of the Spanish-based ITURRI Group. Other companies have become part of the Desautel Group or the Klubb Group in France, for example. One Seven of Germany now belongs to Schmitz Fire and Rescue, formerly Meinicke Fahrzeugservice, which previously had no relationship with GIMAEX.

What are ITURRI’s objectives in Germany?

In Germany, the ITURRI Group would like to seamlessly build on the legacy of the original Schmitz Feuerwehr- und Umwelttechnik, which became GIMAEX-Schmitz Fire and Rescue before becoming GIMAEX. We would like to expand our role as the bodywork manufacturer of choice for high-end special-purpose vehicles and continue our tradition as a manufacturer of hazardous-materials apparatus vehicles, command center vehicles and other specialized trucks, as well as special-purpose firefighting trucks. In doing so, we will be able to leverage the synergies made possible by our membership of the ITURRI Group.

So, your product range won’t change, despite the name change to ITURRI?

Exactly, there will be no change. In Germany, ITURRI will continue to produce the vehicles that were produced under the GIMAEX brand. Particularly hazardous-materials apparatus trucks, heavy rescue vehicles, swap bodies, command center vehicles and firefighting vehicles.

What vehicles does ITURRI produce, and where?

The ITURRI Group has three plants where fire vehicles are manufactured. First, there’s the plant in Utrera, near the corporate headquarters in Seville, where all of the company’s Spanish, French and international fire truck models are made, including forest-fire water tenders and airport fire trucks.

Then there’s the plant in Atibaia, near Sao Paolo in Brazil. It pretty much makes the same sorts of vehicles as the plant in Spain, but for the South American market.

And the third plant is the one in Wilnsdorf?

Correct. At our site in Germany, we will continue to build the types of vehicle I mentioned earlier. That’s hazardous-materials apparatus trucks, heavy rescue vehicles, swap bodies, command center vehicles, specialized trucks, industrial firefighting vehicles, large-capacity water tenders, standard water tenders, combination rescue and water tender trucks, and mid-range fire engines.

What will you be showcasing in June 2020 at INTERSCHUTZ?

A mix of tried and tested solutions and new innovations – and all of it structured around the lead theme of “Teams, Tactics, Technology – Connected for Protection and Rescue”. Needless to say, we’ll be presenting products from all areas of our range; that’s vehicles and personal protection equipment.

The message we want to get across is that the ITURRI Group is a highly diversified organization with a long tradition and that it now has deep roots in Spain AND Germany.