SANZ, the story of an entrepreneur

How it all started

Cigüeñales SANZ S.L. was created on 22 October 1947 in a small workshop in the centre of Zaragoza, the capital of Aragon, by Vicente Irache Torres before he even turned 21.


Back then, the company mainly repaired small motorbike crankshafts then, in the early fifties, it ventured into the export market by first importing Harley Davidson crankshafts from the US which it restored then re-exported.

During the years following the Spanish Civil War, imports into Spain were tightly controlled and, like so many other companies at the time, Cigüeñales Sanz had to find ways to get round the technical shortages it faced.


Gradually, it changed from of a repair shop to a crankshaft manufacturer. The first model the company produced, by open-die forging using fairly rudimentary lathes, was for the Sanglas engine, this being a motorbike that was used for decades by the Spanish Civil Guard.


In the late 1950s, it started mass-producing large batches for industrial cooling units and ships and for white-label domestic refrigerators.

The first automotive brand for which SANZ provided its products was SEAT. The commitments taken on and the strict requirements that had to be met led Sanz to develop its means of production and quality control and gave it valuable experience enabling it to sell to other manufacturers. By the mid-1960s, SANZ was supplying international brands such as Mercedes, John Deere, Perkins, Motor Ibérica, Nissan, Chrysler, etc.


From a one-man venture, in just over two decades the company had grown to a staff of 23 in premises of almost 500m2.


In 1970 it became necessary to make room for new production needs, and the company moved to what was at the time the busy Cogullada industrial estate where it was able to gradually expand its operations.


In the early 1980s, it started to produce the first crankshafts for Pegaso and Ebro truck engines, although most of its products still went to Renault, Seat and Citroen for small passenger vehicles.

A new market then opened up for these larger crankshafts, requiring better mechanical properties as well as more specialized production systems and, over the next 10 years, SANZ gradually gave up producing small automobile crankshafts. In the early 90s, most of its product catalogue comprised crankshafts for trucks, tractors, heavy-duty construction machinery and industrial applications, and this trend has continued until today.


In 1988 the company moved again to the Malpica – Santa Isabel industrial estate, to a plant covering almost 7,500 m2. The location was a strategic one, on Spain’s main motorway between Madrid and Barcelona. After several extensions, SANZ now occupies 15,000 m2.