From the world of cycling to that of industrial vehicles the step is not short at all.
However, Montante family, founder and owner of GIMON leader company in the world of shock absorbers for industrial and railway vehicles and for special application, was able to gradually realize this transformation giving particularly importance to the quality of its production since the beginning.
It was in the ‘20s, years of strong passions and ferments, of great talented people and important events, that would have marked, for better or for worse, the history of the whole nineteenth century, that Calogero Montante took his first steps as a businessman. Gifted with a particular talent, with a bent for mechanics, fond of bicycles, he began to work at the age of eighteen when he manufactured his first bike. Driven by his business genius and by his enormous passion for the cycling world he founded the CICLI Montante, a handcraft company producing such strong, elegant and functional bikes that, in the blink of an eye, he got plenty of orders. As a consequence, Calogero Montante was forced to organise his own personal network of transport in order to deliver bikes to the whole South of Italy.
These bikes soon became luxury products and wealthy people absolutely wanted to own a Montante bike. Calogero Montante began to produce bicycles on demand, satisfying the particular customers’ need.
In the same period he founded the professional cycling team Montante, taking part to regional races. Calogero Montante and his company took off: thanks to his reputation, due tothe quality and reliability of his products, he started selling them to the Arm of carabineers (dual role as a Police and Armed Force). This was in the ‘30s and at that time the condition of the streets was much worse than today. A strong bicycle, to rely on, able to offer security down the dirt roads and unpaved patches of that time was, for sure, very valuable and Calogero Montante understood how important it was.
Years went by and a number of successes made him one of the most successful businessman of the island.
Unfortunately in 1943, during the Second World War,Calogero Montante was drafted back into the army and dispatched to Yugoslavia where he was kept prisoner. He never gave up and thanks to a series of fortuitous events he managed to escape and came back to Sicily, where he went on with his work. He was not afraid of starting from the beginning and understood that times were changing, because of the he decided to convert his company: cycles became motorcycles. As a pioneer of his time, who had introduced Sicily to the world of cycling, was now introducing Sicily to the world of motorcycling by making trade agreements with the most important Italian companies manufacturing this kind of vehicles.
In the meantime Calogero Montante’s son, Luigi, started working side by side with him, and in the 60s, during the economic boom, they had the great intuition: manufacturing and overhauling shock absorbers for industrial vehicles. The idea was very successful and the business activity grew very quickly marking the beginning of a new entrepreneurial Era.
The economic boom of the 60s also signed the qualitative leap in the production of shock absorbers and the assembly of the first special “double effect” model. The most important factors, which contributed to the development of the activity, were the market perspectives tied to the first railway and automotive companies but above all the technical intuitions of the company. This was the origin of GIMON, today a leader company in the national and international market in the sector of shock absorbers for industrial and railway vehicles. The investments in modern plants in the South and in the North of Italy gave to GIMON that relevance, first national and then international, which allowed it to acquire important customers first among the manufacturers of industrial vehicles and then in the after market. Today the company is present on the market with two brands, GIMON and the historical Gimon, and it plans to play more and more a crucial role in the bus, truck and railway vehicles sectors.