Vittorio Minarelli and Franco Morini established Fabbrica Bolognese Motocicli in 1951, producing 125cc motorcycles engines and 50cc moped mills. By the late ‘60s, the firm adopted the Motori Minarelli name and went on to supply fellow Italian brand Fantic Motors with powerplants in 1970. That relationship flourished throughout the years, despite Yamaha Motor Europe acquiring the Bologna-based motor manufacturer in 2002.
Fast forward to today and Fantic Motors is reinforcing its friend-of-a-friend partnership with Yamaha by fully acquiring the Motori Minarelli business. While the ink is still drying on the contracts, the deal has been in the works for months. On the surface, the marque will benefit from Motori Minarelli’s engine manufacturing expertise and specialized workforce, but the acquisition will also help Fantic develop electric powertrains for future models.
"The strengthening of the partnership with Yamaha Motor Europe and the acquisition of Motori Minarelli represent for Fantic Motor an important step to further reinforce our position as a technological leader in the production of motorcycles, e-bikes and e-mobility products in Italy”, admitted Fantic Motor CEO Mariano Roman. “We will work together to further increase Motori Minarelli’s know how on engines and e-powertrain, widen the production range, to offer to Motori Minarelli’s customers competitive, cutting edge technology powertrains, while safeguarding the current employment levels".
Fantic currently offers electric bicycles in the market, but the Motori Minarelli purchase will allow the brand to gear up for a full e-mobility push. Both brands tout the Made In Italy nature of its products and the new agreement will preserve and expand on local employment and technological developments.
“The deal will also create a strong future for Motori Minarelli within the Italian industry, allowing the company to be perfectly positioned to implement new business activities and to expand its operation and supply range,” said Yamaha Motor Europe President Eric de Seynes.
With all the pieces in place, Fantic is poised to transition to electric powertrains in the future. The fruits of labor won’t return for some time, but we sure can’t wait to see what an e-Caballero would look like.