Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Malaguti Moto in Italy to Close Factory. Parts Company to Remain Open.

We'll it's all over the internet so might as well. The Malaguti factory is closing.

Malaguti Moto in Italy has kicked the bucket. The family behind the company is offering the remaining employees 30,000 Euros a piece to retire and leave. The parts company will remain open and there is word that possibly new bikes will come but they will be 100% made in China.

The Italian press is reporting that Giuliana Righi FIOM / CGIL Bologna - there were three contacts for the possible sale of the company ( all provided to the Italian Govt by Joel Martin of MRP )

The only good news is that 28 employees remain and the US and other markets can continue to buy parts from Malaguti Recambi. The bad news is if any new Malaguti's emerge they will likely be made in China. So much for Forza Italia.

The articles in Italy fail to mention that the govt waited for months to reply to the offers, couldn't offer incentives like relocation cash, how much exactly were the investors going to get in co-op. In all honesty I feel Italy has become a nation of espresso drinkers and waiters. Their leaders are useless and if anything Silvio has thought be that you get more press with Bunga Bunga parties than trying to save your manufacturing base.

I think the Malaguti family is tired of the battle. I met Learco Malaguti before I even graduated college and I believed in the Italian product, in the family trade, and I felt a passion for all things Italian. It was a dream that could not withstand globalization and the gradual destruction of the Italian Motorcycle Industry. His two sons didn't have the same passion he did. He built up the company, survived the Nazi invasion, rebuilt, and eventually took advantage of a moped boom that led the company to greatness. Malaguti lasted over ninety years. Getting rid of all the employees make it easier to re-launch like Italjet, Garelli, and Benelli with Chinese assembly of the scooters. Another re-badge job on a CF MOTO, Zongshen, Jialing, or ZNEN bike like everyone else. 

It won't be the same. It's kind of like when you look at a new Aprilia and you check and it says made In China, its just not the same to me. A Ferrari made anywhere other than Emilia-Romagna wouldn't be the same to me. Some brands weren't meant to be globalized. 

To me this was one of them, but then again the average consumer doesn't care as long as the label on the outside says Nike ( do they really care if it was made by a nine year old in Thailand or someone being paid a fair wage in the USA ) that's the real issue at the end of the day. There will never be good high paying Jobs in Casa di San Pietro "jobs for life" like they used to have back in the Golden days of Malaguti. It's a shame but it was bound to happen.

No comments: