Marzocchi Seemingly Out of Business Soon, Unfortunately

Ducati Diavel uses Marzocchi ofrks 1 photo
Photo: Ducati
Sad news arrives from Italy, as it appears like the clock is about to strike midnight for major suspensions manufacturer Marzocchi. Believe it or not, the company is very close to being shut down, and all its 120 workers laid off, as the American group Tenneco, who owns Marzocchi plans to close the plant in Zola Predosa, miles west of Bologna.
Needless to say, Marzocchi shutting down will affect a huge number of motorcycle models manufactured by a lot of well-known names in the industry, such as Ducati, MV Agusta, BMW, Beta, AJP and Gas Gas, the latter not doing too well, either.

Marzocchi had it coming from 2011

Only three years after acquiring Marzocchi, Tenneco already thought of shutting it down, but the workers' unions opposed strongly. After negotiations, 50 of the 170-strong workforce have been let go, with Tenneco delaying the final cut until mid-2015.

Apparently Tenneco is planning to pull out of the suspensions business completely. While no official info was offered, it looks like the main issue is represented by the high costs of development for a new generation of semi-active or active suspensions.

During the last years, semi-active suspensions took off spectacularly and have become more or less the new standard in the industry. More and more new bike models are equipped with semi-active suspensions and expecting that all motorcycles in the upper-middleweight class and above be equipped with them is not exactly a wild guess.

However, this means that manufacturers who are not already offering new-gen suspensions will have either to start developing them or center their production on other segments.

With the huge history behind its name, we honestly hope that Marzocchi is not left to die. The happiest scenario is, obviously, the company being bought by a bigger automotive group with enough resources to sustain the development of future technologies and market them appropriately.

Meanwhile, Marzocchi reportedly notified the manufacturers that the supply chain will last as long as stocks last, which tells us that the Italians are no longer producing suspensions elements.

Frankly, we'd like to see Audi getting hold of Marzocchi and turning it into a subsidiary for Ducati. Honda has Showa and KTM has WP, so Ducati keeping things all-Italian would make sense.
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