Over the last couple years of trade shows, the innovation and new product announcements from Marzocchi had steadily slowed to a trickle. Now, the business has decided to close the doors on its mountain bike and motorcycle suspension business permanently.

Some of the last few drops from their product pipeline were the 27.5+ fork shown above and the final iteration of their dropper seatpost, but it looks like those wont ever see the light of day. Full PR after the break…

UPDATED: Copy of letter from the brand to distributors added at bottom of post.

PRESS RELEASE: LAKE FOREST, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tenneco Inc. (NYSE:TEN) announced today its intention to discontinue its Marzocchi motor bike fork suspension business and its mountain bike business, and liquidate its Marzocchi operations.

These actions are subject to a consultation process with the employee representatives and in total would eliminate approximately 138 jobs. Tenneco currently employs 127 people at the Marzocchi plant in Bologna, Italy and an additional 11 people in its operations in North America and Taiwan.

Tenneco intends to assist its motor bike customers with the transition of current production to an alternative supplier and expects to complete the closure by the end of 2015.

“We sincerely regret the impact these actions would have on our Tenneco Marzocchi employees, and thank them for their tireless efforts to improve performance and reduce costs. Unfortunately, it was not enough to overcome continuing market challenges in the two-wheeler business,” said Brian Kesseler, chief operating officer, Tenneco. “We are committed to working with our employees’ representatives, and with our customers to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

This intended action is a part of Tenneco’s ongoing efforts to optimize its Ride Performance business globally while continuously improving its operations and increasing profitability.

Tenneco expects to record charges of approximately $27 million related to these actions in the third quarter which includes approximately $17 million of cash expenditures. These charges consist of severance and other employee related costs, asset impairment charges and other expenses related to the closure. The company anticipates improving financial results by approximately $7 million annually, beginning in 2016.

Tenneco is an $8.4 billion global manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 29,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of clean air and ride performance products and systems for automotive, commercial truck, and off-highway original equipment markets, and the aftermarket. Tenneco’s principal brand names are Monroe®, Walker®, XNOx™ and Clevite®Elastomer.

This press release contains or may contain forward-looking statements. Words such as “intends,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “will,” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations of the company (including its subsidiaries). Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, the company’s plans, actions and actual results could differ materially. Among the factors that could cause these plans, actions and results to differ materially from current expectations are: (i) the company’s continued success in cost reduction and cash management programs and its ability to execute restructuring and other cost reduction plans, including any cost reduction initiatives we may undertake in Europe, and to realize anticipated benefits from these plans; (ii) the outcome of the mandatory union consultation procedure; (iii) workforce factors such as strikes or labor interruptions; and (iv) the timing and occurrence (or non-occurrence) of transactions and events which may be subject to circumstances beyond the control of the company and its subsidiaries. The company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release. Additional information regarding risk factors and uncertainty is detailed from time to time in the company’s SEC filings, including but not limited to its report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014.

UPDATE: We just got a copy of this letter from Marzocchi to their Distributors, courtesy of MTB-News.de (Thanks, Thomas!)

marzocchi-going-out-of-business-letter

23 COMMENTS

  1. Goes to show that once you lose control of your manufacturing process, and then fail to reign it in, you can never really bounce back. Its a shame to see Marzocchi go, I’d be lying if I didn’t say their products were integral in my beginner days. So we’ll see how the niche guys pick up the market, hopefully it will lead to better options by opening up the market.

  2. The end of Marzocchi happened a few years ago when Tenneco bought the US office from Marzocchi Italy and broke it starting then. The brains behind Marzocchi mountain bike were Bryson Martin, John Pelino and Tom Rogers. They went out and founded DVO Suspension as a result of the shit show Tenneco was making of Marzocchi. The best thing to come of it is that those 3 guys started a a premium brand making only top drawer suspension. The bummer is that Marzocchi is dead, I will miss it because I won’t get to hear riders mis pronouncing the name, like marzooki, marzoCHI, marzAHki etc

  3. Don’t worry… They have been bought by a Martian-Irish-Chinese industrialist named Mars O’ Chi and they should bring production back on line by 2017…

  4. Exactly! I have to say that I was disappointed to see that an automotive holdings group had purchased them to begin with. What does a muffler and brake vendor know about two wheeled suspension anyway? When the Marzocchi monthly newsletters stopped coming to my inbox, I knew the end was near. R.I.P.

  5. This is unfortunate news, although as someone who has not bought a Marzocchi product for 20 years I didn’t really support the company. Their products often seemed overweight, expensive, and lacked the damping technology of RockShox and Fox. It seems Manitou haven’t really recovered from their bad rap they suffered with their products about 10 years ago. I guess Hayes are happy to keep them ticking along, but like Hayes brakes, Manitou sit behind the big names in performance. They must offer very good OEM pricing, and perhaps this was difficult for Marzocchi to achieve.

  6. Tenneco has a ride control division, considering they supply suspension components to every automaker on the planet basically I don’t think bicycles would stress their technical know how. When they bought Marzocchi they were doing it for emerging markets like China and India where motorcycles and scooters are still very popular. The manufacturing was long gone from Italy and Suntour was making everything even then. Tenneco had hoped to improve Marzocchi’s cost structure with economy of scale in their purchasing. That must have never worked out as planned.

  7. @ Large D. That’s interesting, I wonder even with the Suntour partnership they couldn’t get it to be profitable. I thought maybe lack of OEM spec may have been an issue but with Asian manufacturing, presumably price wasn’t the factor.

  8. What a shame. They were present in the early days of mass-produced (as opposed to stuff made by garage tinkerers) suspension forks. And of course the original (1995?) Z.1 Bomber changed the sport and is the progenitor of all of today’s long-travel trail and enduro forks. Marzocchi changed our sport- and now they’re gone… The Marzocchi name still has strong brand recognition (at least among people my age, mid-30’s), maybe the brand will be revived, although I doubt it will ever have the same spirit and force it once did.

  9. per Marz MTB’s twitter it’s business as usual. word on the street is that the moto division is being shuttered but that MTB division may have found a buyer… we should know more at Eurobike

  10. does anyone recall why Tenneco was interested enough to buy Marzocchi in the first place? Guessing more the moto side, than MTB?

  11. Tenneco didn’t really buy Marzicchi, instead they assumed their debt load. Had that not happened Marzocchi would have been gone in 2008.

  12. It’s a shame. The 350 and 380 are exceptional forks, especially the 350 is which is a better overall fork than the Pike IMO, but it seems like a couple of years of bad forks and bad marketing has locked them out of the OEM market, which no fork manufacturer can survive for long without.

  13. I’m mostly disappointed that there will never be a return of the Marzocchi Bomber girls. Arguably the best thing they ever did.

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