Our quality control is demanding with each stage of the manufacturing process of our coaches, from the projection of prototypes, to the customization according to the needs of customers, manufacturing and the entire supply chain.
We make sure our vehicles follow high quality standards.
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The fall in demand in Europe, caused by a major economic and financial crisis, forces us to look for new markets where we can present our vehicles. In October, an AYATS vehicle is introduced for the first time in Mexican territory that presents all the benefits of our bodywork, in a very receptive market for the type of product we manufacture.
The increase in demand has not led to a change in product strategy. We continue to believe in the personalisation of our vehicles as custom-built coaches; in production processes based on craftsmanship; in cutting edge designs, productions and
Today, AYATS is managed entirely by the Vilà family. Its premises have a surface area of over 40,000 m2 and its annual production is 450 units. The success of Carrocerías AYATS has been largely due to enthusiasm, effort and a topquality product.
Factories were opened in Tétouan and Tona. AYATS decentralised its management in order to make processes more dynamic,
and to adapt them to infl uential markets.
One coach per day left the group’s combined three factories, destined for countries as disparate as Egypt, Israel, Greece or the UK. Martí Pagès managed the sales and marketing of AYATS coaches. International fairs and the efforts of the management team brought about a spectacular increase in the number of units produced.
AYATS coaches became the Spanish referent in the European, Middle East and North African markets. A larger space was needed to meet all the orders, so a new 20,000m2 factory was built in Can Call, Arbúcies. Two hundred employees worked in the new factory, and the annual production was 200 units. Single and double-decker coaches were manufactured. Particular emphasis was placed on the AYATS chassis, which was even lighter and stronger than International regulations required.
A new and diversifi ed board of directors was formed. Juan Vilà Cumallas and Joan García Ayats (Remigio García’s son) both became board members.
The break in the state monopoly of chassis sales allowed the company’s sales policy to take an important new direction. AYATS was the only Spanish company that both manufactured and marketed its own chassis.
The company’s management structure changed. A clearly hierarchical organisation was replaced by a board of directors. Joaquim Ayats was chairman and Juan Vilà Cumalls had increased responsability as general manager.
Thus the dynamism of the company’s management was optimised: both in administration or sales and marketing; and in all
production-linked engineering and development processes. Carrocerías AYATS built an excellent reputation during this period.
There was a serious crisis and the future of the company was jeopardised. Juan Vilà Cumalls, who was enterprising and had
a great vision of the future, managed to refloat the company with the help of all the staff and business partners. AYATS once
again became one of the leading companies in the sector.
Joan Vilà Carré retired in 1965 and Juan Vilà Cumalls took over from him as head of the workshop. Joaquim Ayats was chairman.
AYATS clearly decided to focus on structural innovation. The motor was moved to the back of the vehicle. This change was possible as structures were made from stronger, lighter materials. A magnifi cent period began. Increases in the height of the body created a storage space below the vehicle’s interior.
This replaced the traditional luggage rack, and led to increases in interior comfort, driving safety and visibility from inside the vehicle.
AYATS decided that aesthetics would be vehicles’ distinguishing feature. Chrome features and large, up to the roof windows
were incorporated into the designs. New, readily formable materials such as Plexiglas made such windows possible. However,
the coaches’ roofs were still used as luggage racks.
The company had a hierarchical structure, made up of different specialised departments. Each of these had its own manager.
These departments were, in turn, part of the production line. The founder’s son, Joaquim Ayats, was playing an increasingly
Spain’s economy developed slowly as it was excluded from the Marshall Plan’s International aid programme.
Carrocerías AYATS’ development priority was to fit the motor into the chassis body.
Before 1949 the motor had been mounted in front of the front wheels. Structural solidity made this change possible.
It improved the exterior aesthetics and the stability of the coaches, though interior space was lost.
AYATS had a staff of 48 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, including both machinists and apprentices. Thirty four
employees were from Arbúcies. Workshops were collectivised and all vehicles in the province confi scated, so no new models
were ordered. However, vehicles for transporting troops, ambulances and other war material were made.
After the war, Joan Vilà Carré became the general manager with full responsability for the company, as Joan Ayats Casas was
in prison and his son Joaquim was doing military service. When the founder and his son returned they took charge of the business again.
An additional workshop space was taken on at number 88 in the same Camprodon street. This meant that production and
storage areas could be separated, making work easier. The fi rst coach bodies – such as the Landau, the Berlin, and the Hispano
Suiza – were built in this period for landowners in the area. There was a serious fire
in the workshop.
The fire, fed by the large quantity of stored wood, destroyed the machinery and the building itself. One of the Hispano Suizas from this time was used by King Alfonso XIII.
This was a period of great expansion for the timber sector. Montseny’s rich forests served as a base for the fi rst coach bodies
AYATS built. Advances in sheet metal work and painting trades meant that metal sheets could be used as exterior fi nishes for the bodies. The 11 year old Joan Vilà i Carré was taken on as an apprentice in this period.
He was to become the general manager of the workshop. At the end of the decade this was at 16, Camprodon street in Arbúcies.
As time passed, the small workshop became an increasingly solid company. The founder’s son-in-law Remigio García and his son Joaquim Ayats Vilà joined AYATS.
During this period Joan Ayats Casas took on 15 assistants.
All efforts were dedicated to building carriages, and some of the manufacturing processes were done in batches.
The first specialised departaments were created, such as the upholstery department managed by Teresa Vilà i Argelés. Different
tradesmen – carpenters, blacksmiths, upholsterers, etc. – were linked by one common objective: specialised production which would give rise to mass-production and later to assembly lines.
Joan Ayats Casas built the fi rst carts to transport charcoal from the kilns in Montseny to Hostalric train station. Barcelona’s charcoal supply came from this source. Joan Ayats Casas was born in Navata, in the Alt Empordà region. When he was 17 he moved to Barcelona to work as an apprentice. At 24 he married Teresa Vilà i Argelés from Navata.
With a carpenter’s shop and the help of his wife, he built wooden carriages that were to be forerunners of the future coach bodies.