In 1908, Carlo Zago, thanks to his expertise as a crafsman dedicated to the furniture manufacturing and repair, conceived the idea of creating a small laboratory in Venice. After thirty-seven years of business, in 1945 the Company was taken over by his nephew Carlo in the same small laboratory in Venice. Carlo, at the age of twenty, began to manage the Company that started to increase its size and importance. After the Second World War, the production capacity was further reinforced with an expansion into hotel and large banks furnishing sectors.
The most important customer relationship in those years was established with C.I.G.A., which at that time was managing an increasing expansion plan revovating and building hotellerie gems such the Excelsior in Venice Lido, the Gritti and the Danieli in Venice and the Principe di Savoia in Milan.
Year 1961 represented a further growth in the market with an expansion into the ship furnishing sector, as well as the beginning of a historic and significant collaboration with Fincantieri S.p.A., which still continues nowadays. The first ship interior was the car ferry Appia owned by Adriatica di Navigazione.
In 1962 and 1964 the Company had the honour to build part of the public spaces and cabins of some of the most prestigious Italian ocean liners last built in CRDA Monfalcone facility such as Guglielmo Marconi, Eugenio C and Raffaello.
The business improvement made the Company moving from Venice to the industrial area of Marghera starting a new production line dedicated to ship interior supply. Development continued to such a degree that made, in 1964, the facility moving to Scorzè, that is the site of the present offices. In 1987, the Company created the first Italian patent for the construction of pre-manufactured cabins that have been istalled in the pipe layer crane vessel Micoperi 7000, simplifying the coordination of shipyard manufacturing activities and, consequently, reducing installation lead times.
Nineteen-Eighty-Nine was the turning point year that allowed the construction of the passenger ship Crown Princess for P&O that is the oldest ship cruising company in the world. The characteristic dolphin line of Crown Princess was unique and was conceived by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano. After forty-seven years of outstanding business Carlo Zago died in 1992 leaving the management of the Company to his son Antonio, who represents the fourth generation of a family that has continuously devoted its efforts to the development of activities and to the research of end-customer satisfaction.
Thanks to Fincantieri trust in Zago, the decade of the Nineties represented the start of an impetuous commitment that permitted the consolidation of lasting relationships with all the largest worldwide shipowner companies, among these: P&O, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Costa Crociere, Princess Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line and MSC. During this decade, the Company witnessed records realizing elegant furnished passenger halls, with an average extension of 7.000 sq.m. per year including the public spaces of the huge Grand Princess with a dimension of 114.000,00 gross tons, that was the biggest ship to cruise around the world at that time.
Along with the ship furnishing sector, the Company has developed collaborations with important Italian architects and interior designers such as Carlo Scarpa, Ignazio Gardella, Luigi Vietti, Renzo Mongiardino, Gae Aulenti and Sottsass Associati. The Company has built itself on an expanding number of orders supported by a 80 skilled employees in two production plants of about 12.000 sqm. Those relashionship allowed the Company to increase its size achieving to deliver more and more complex projects, coordinating various kind of materials and suppliers supported by a highly professional engineering. This enabled Zago to manage quality customers like Hermès and Cartier as well as art dealers and museums.
The relationship with Sottsass Associati from 1985 to 2004 represented another good possibilitry to realize a very sophisticated approach to the design industry.
Together with Ettore Sottsass, Aldo Cibic, Marco Zanini and Johanna Grawunder the Company realized very innovative and high quality projects also participating to the Memphis adventure, the great cultural phenomenon of the '80s, that has revolutionized the design logic abolishing the creative limits previously dictated by the industry with a new expressivity in the form of new shapes, materials and patterns. In the meanwhile the company was also supplying unique pieces of interior decorations brands like Esprit, Dupont, Alessi, Cartier and other lucky private customers.
In nineteen ninety four the Company started to enter into the yacht interior decoration, beginning with one yacht refitting in Arsenale of Venezia Shipyard.
Seventy meters fishing ship ex Albacore, was changed into an innovative explorer vessel with high quality interiors with a new name Amazon Express. This project was realized in collaboration with Marco Zanini of Sottsass Associati and with a young naval engineer: Espen Oeino, who became one of the most known opinion leader in yacht industry.
In 1998 the company started the business in the new building yacht sector with Cantiere Navale Benetti realizing the 50 meters Queen M together with Terence Disdale design studio and the 70 meters Reverie together with John Munford.
In year 2000 the company began to collaborate with Ferretti Custom Line realizing in Ancona the lower deck of Custom Line 112 that was the biggest model of that fiberglass line.
In 2003 the company increased with another expansion starting to work contemporarily with CRN realizing the 46 meters Clarena, with Perini Navi building the crew deck of the 56 meters sailing boat Felicita West and with Lurrsen Werft that chose Zago for the realization of the owner’s deck of Skat, one 71 meters boat that was particularly innovative for that time. Within 10 years Zago was then able to work with some of the most representative yards in the world.
In 2004 to better support this important growth, after 4 years of collaboration, the company decided to start the merger with Ferretti, selling the majority of the shares in order to improve the yacht sector that was booming.
The strategy allowed the company to almost double the turnover from 2004 till 2008 that was the year of the beginning of the world economy crisis that had a particularly strong impact on the boating sector.
This global crisis, that is one of the most dramatic in the modern world, required a long internal reorganization that allowed Ferretti Group to be completely renewed through the full buy out in 2012 by the Chinese Group Weichai, a leading company in China of motors for construction machinery and car components, that in 2013 completed the full merge of Zago Company within the group too.
Nowadays Ferretti Group serves the America with sales centers in prominent locations as well as dealership presence in several countries including Asia.
In 2016 an important change took place in the corporate governance with the entrance of Ferrari: Piero, Enzo's son, bought the 13,2% of Ferretti Group shares.
This common, daily commitment brought Ferretti Group to the very heights of the nautical world.
The 31st of March 2022 Ferretti controlled by the Chinese Weichai group and by Piero Ferrari with 13,2% of the shares has been listed in Hong Kong sock exchange that rapresent an area of increasingly wealthy population.
Hong Kong is a market where made in Italy and luxury goods are highly valued.
The 27th of June 2023 Gruppo Ferretti has been quoted in Euronext Milano being one of the first group in the world that has been dual listed both in Milano and Hong Kong.
The adventure goes on...
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