Suspensions Manufacturer Marzocchi Shuts Down

In late April this year, we told you that the Italian suspension manufacturer Marzocchi was passing through a rough time, with the prospect of having all its operations shut down being as real as it gets. The worst-case scenario was just confirmed by Tenneco Inc., the parent company of Marzocchi.
2005 MV Agusta F4 1000 Tamburini with Marzocchi forks 1 photo
Photo: Larry F. Griffiths
The closure is expected to take place fully until the end of 2015, the press release informs. Approximately 138 jobs will be eliminated in the process. These include the 127 people at the Marzocchi factory in Bologna, Italy, and 11 that have so far ensured operations in North America and in Taiwan.

According to Tenneco, the company will spend around $27 million (€23.7 mil) in the third quarter of the year in relation to the liquidation of Marzocchi, with some $17 mil (€14.9 mil) expected to be cash expenditures. The money is said to cover severance and other employee-related costs, asset impairment charges and all the other things that derive from the closure.

Tenneco's decision was contoured only three years after buying Marzocchi

As we already reported, Tenneco first thought to shut down Marzocchi only three years after acquiring the Italian company. Even though unofficial, the reasons were related to the big investments Marzocchi needed in both R&D and manufacturing, in order to keep up with other big names in the suspension industry, such as WP and Ohlins.

As it looks like Tenneco could not afford such investments or saw then as being not profitable enough in the short run, they sort of left Marzocchi slowly drift towards doom. The first attempt to liquidate the operations met strong opposition and an agreement was enforced to retain a fraction of the workforce until mid-2015.

As the deadline was met, we are now witnessing the demise of Marzocchi, with little prospect to none at all to be picked up by other investors and carry on. Tenneco also announced that its current bike customers will be assisted in the transition to another supplier, whose name remains so far undisclosed.

There will be a lot of makers affected by Marzocchi shutting down, and it will be interesting, though in rather dark way, to see who they decide to go with from now on. A mere rumor or wishful thinking would see Audi buying Marzocchi cheap and upgrading it as the sole supplier for Ducati, but we guess this is dreaming a bit too much...
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press release

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