Mourning Moto Morini

Is this the end of the road?

Mourning Moto Morini

Moto Morini lost what many, including yours truly, regard as its last chance to get back into business with its failed acquisition by tiny but financially solid Nuova Garelli. This resurrected old make has no factory or assembly lines in Italy. It's just a marketing project to design and sell scooters made in China.

Nuova Garelli made a first bid to acquire Bologna-based Moto Morini before the company applied for Chapter 11. The negotiation failed due to opposition by the unions that in Bologna are ruled by the "soviet" branch of the leftovers of the Communist Party. No joke. Nuova Garelli then made a second bid that seemed to win the approval of both the court and manpower at Moto Morini. But when things appeared to be nearing a positive solution, both the unions and the authorities shunned the meeting. At that stage, Nuova Garelli shut the door for good.

The reasoning is exclusively of a political nature. Nuova Garelli is owned by Paolo Berlusconi, brother of the Italian prime minister, a man well-known for his solidly anti-communist attitude. So the old soviets a la Bolognese didn't let slip by them the opportunity to take revenge on a member of the Berlusconi family. This is Italy in the 21st century.

Now, the chances that Moto Morini will survive are tied to a last bid by Canadian entrepreneur (of Italian ancestors) Franz Stefano, who is supported by German importer Marz. How serious is the bid? Only time will tell. But time is getting short.

--Bruno dePrato