I guess is the proper phrase. If the information received is correct, Guzzi is no longer making motorcycles in Mandello del Lario. What a blow that must be for that gorgeous town with its friendly people. And what a long way the brand has gone since 1919 and 1921. The original founders had a vision that the brand should help the town that made it so prosperous. They wanted to build motorcycles that were sturdy and easy to maintain. Reliable and the racing machines had to be innovative. The V-twin was designed as a machine that should be easy to maintain, easy to build, and easy to operate whilst giving moderate perfomance. When a dentist showed he could do magic with Guzzi, he got the job to do it, and he did. Just like Carcano was brought in at the racing dept. in the 1930s, just like Carlo Guzzi showed the father of Giorgio Parodi. The founders had their own philosophy how to build bikes and where to do it. It came out of passion, and that passion fuelled the birth of so many machines, and led to so many incredibly impressive racing machines.
That passion wanted to keep the factory where it was born, full of tradition, and the only safe place left where the original ideas of the founders still would be brought into the models that so many times were perceived by their designers for their riders. Guzzi Production has left Mandello. Ciao Guzzi. It was fun, thank you so much for staying there so long and making such a wonderful destination for countless trips. Thanks for providing a place to meet new and old friends. A place to show my kids, like my father showed me, like his father showed him.
Guzzi as I knew always have known it, is gone. I just cannot get over it but I think I am one of the few. But I still keep dreaming and hoping for that new Guzzi that looks like a Guzzi, handles like a Guzzi, can be maintained like a Guzzi and is durable as a Guzzi. And maybe it will be produced in Mandello. But ah well people, it lasted 90 years.
It is odd how lifelong cornerstone values can simply change. I really wonder who really cares though. But the people that work for Guzzi in Mandello, so many of them so proud of the brand, sometimes people with the 3RD generation already working for Guzzi, so passionate and always helpful for the non local Guzzi riders visiting their village and their factory; they are the ones that really suffer as their livelihood is in danger. And for all of us that have enjoyed their incredible hospitality; have learned to really appreciate the brands’ history; and have learned about the incredible dynamics of the way it created friendships and even families worldwide; for all of us it has left an uncomfortable void of a time that you knew once was, but never will return again.
Ivar de Gier
This topic has raised some issues and questions that I perhaps can enlighten.
First of all, the fact that right now Guzzi is not producing motorcycles in Mandello is nothing new. On this forum, Mike Harper posted a topic on June 19, 2009, which shows the content of the article that was printed in the “Il Giorno” newspaper (Lecco edition) the same day. Nolan (Woodbury)’s post in this topic shows the text of the same article. If you read the text, it is clear that from June 22; Guzzi for the time being has seized motorcycle production in Mandello.
What the newspaper does not say, is that the article is based on a press release by Piaggio. And that press release is based on an internal Piaggio memo that also came into my possession. Furthermore, I also have received the same information that indeed the production was closed down that day independently from 6 people that work on different levels at Guzzi.
Four of these people shared with me months ago information that Guzzi motorcycle production in Mandello would be closed down after the August holiday closure of the factory. That information was the same as confidential information that I received from a Piaggio source last April. The same source told me about this in May 2008, but I did not take that seriously.
To these people, with the exception of the Piaggio source, it was and is a shock that production was shut down already last Monday. As you can see from the dates, it was only announced publicly the Friday before.
I wrote the text “ if my information is correct “, because I personally think it is unimaginable that this happens. My thoughts have nothing to do with reasons of efficiency in production, the global crisis, Piaggio's views and reasoning in this etc. etc. For me, Guzzi and Mandello always have been a set and connected entity. But that is me personally, based on the relationship me and my family have always had with Guzzi and with a number of the people that work and have worked there. It was and is not uncommon to step into a little restaurant in Mandello and see four old factory racing riders play a game of cards. Or order an icecream at the local parlor, you feel a little pinch in your side, you look up and it is Carcano, the designer of the V8 and many other machines who wanted to pull a little prank. It always has been so connected for me personally, that I simply cannot believe it, hence why that text was there.
Somebody asked: “Where is the new factory then? When was it built/equipped/staffed?”
Piaggio is still busy setting up assembly lines set up for production in a facility which also produces motorcycles for other brands then the brands ones owned by Piaggio. If my information is correct, the right sticker will be put on every machine that will run of these production lines.
Fact of the matter is, this was planned a long time ago and put into action indeed in such a way that the unobservant are let down gently; Greg (Field) is absolutely right about that and it cannot be put in a better way.
Enjoy your weekend!
Ivar de Gier
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