China’s Qianjiang Group Co. Ltd has purchased Benelli, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer:
China’s Qianjiang Group Co. Ltd has clinched a deal with Gruppo Merloni for the purchase of celebrated Italian motorcycle maker Benelli, reports said Thursday.
The deal follows assurances from Qianjiang’s management that Benelli scooters and motorcycles will continue to be built at its Pesaro factory in central Italy.
Qianjiang is China’s biggest motorcycle maker and the deal represents its first acquisition in Europe.
Established in 1911 by Teresa Benelli, a widow, in the hope of providing work to her six sons, the company started as a car and motorcycle repair garage and built its first motorcycle in 1921.
Benelli motorbikes won a number of championship titles both before and after World War II and by the early 1960s, the company was producing around 300 motorcycles daily.
Benelli then suffered badly from competition from Japan but enjoyed a revival in the 1990s, when it was taken over by Italian electrical appliance maker Merloni.