In 2010, Mario Marchi launched the design of eleMMent, a vehicle that can serve in various configurations as mobile villa, flagship store or even a private jet on wheels. He not only surprised the international automotive world, but also himself through the overwhelming amount of positive feedback he untied. During the complicated way from design to a finished product, he received support from Sioux Logena, the Eindhoven based specialist in the development of hardware and software for automotive OEMs.
Mario Marchi, CEO of Marchi Mobile Group, has been fascinated by cars since childhood. He was a mechanic and driver at the Austrian transport company of his father. But it was the passion for automotive design that brought him where he is now. In 1989 he won a prestigious award for show truck of the year. Along with a now-deceased business partner, he started a German company in mobile marketing – the current mm Group Sales & Marketing. It offers a wide range of services to renowned international companies.
His passion for cutting-edge car design led Marchi to Luigi Colani, the world renowned designer who introduced the principle of aerodynamics and organic forms in the auto industry. In 1970 he designed the so-called Colanitruck, which had its roots in aircraft and boat design. Marchi: “It was a vehicle of great beauty: Aerodynamic, futuristic and amazing. I was inspired by it but when we found one of the latest prototypes functionality proved disastrous. You had no view and nothing worked properly: steering, air conditioning, door handles, and so on. However, I wanted a revival; I wanted to apply the design on our trailers. That was no easy task, but it became a commercial success. From 2006, we had several on the road, all of them unique pieces.”
In 2010 Marchi took a drastic decision and started a new company, Marchi Mobile. He presented a visionary design of a new class of vehicle on the internet – EleMMent. The truck can serve in various configurations as mobile villa, flagship store or private jet on wheels. The design combines characteristics from racing, yaughts and aircraft building. The interior is modern, minimalistic and extravagant. In the application of high-tech engineering the vehicle is at a lonely height in comfort and functionality, and also in price. The response was overwhelming: millions of clicks, hundreds of phone calls and articles in journals all over the world and reputable newspapers like the New York Times.
Marchi “But that doesn’t make you an OEM yet. Dreaming is nice, but you you just have to perform. The standard we want to offer, demands perfection in every detail. You need financial power as well. Therefore we had to get investors on board. And you need a complex organisation in the field of design, construction, quality management, sales and service. In addition there are – because of strict regulations and because we deliver a customised product in terms of design and functionality – a lot of technological hurdles to overcome. EleMMent is still inspired by the Colanitruck but has actually been completely redesigned. The partnership with Sioux Logena was of vital importance.”
Marchi produces four different trucks and makes use of two types of bases that suit the American and the European and Asian market. There are differences in terms of complete engines and drivetrain configurations, wiring harnesses, functionality, onboard computers and electronics. The creation of the same look and feel, regardless of the base which is used, was therefore one of the most important challenges. To overcome that not only requires a vast knowledge of hardware, but also of embedded software. Exactly by adding that intelligence, Sioux Logena has created the needed unity. So now, in whatever EleMMent you walk or drive, it’s an Marchi Mobile.
“Making a single truck is different from the producing and marketing a series of a product”, says Gerben Hilboldt, founder and international business development manager at Sioux Logena. “Reusability is a key theme. Design, development and production are part of an integrated process. You have to create the optimum management, organisational and technological. The whole package is offered for international automotive OEMs. It totally depends ons the wishes of the client which part of our expertise they want to use. Marchi Mobile is focused on the top of the market. It is distinguished by design and customisation, but also by going all the way as far as technology is concerned, for example in the fields of telemetry and remote diagnostics and services. Where ever their vehicles may be, Marchi wants to know in detail what their functional status is, in order to ensure optimal service. In this area we provide support by bringing in a huge load of knowledge about systems integration. In addition, many components developed by ourselves can be applied in the vehicles with minor configuration changes.”
The expertise of Logena has contributed a lot to the quality of the EleMMent series, and to the speed of design to production. But cooperation is also about people, says Marchi. “Sioux Logena knows exactly what our needs are and operates in that sense. In addition, Gerben and I are also just two men who love hard rock music and share a passion for cars. We became friends and in a few months time, the two of us will watch with pride as the the first eleMMent will roll out of our factory before being shipped to a Turkish customer.”