Benelli Motorcycles increased sales by 58% in the first half 2021, projecting the 9th consecutive all time record sales. The Italian brand – owned by the Chinese Motor Group Qianjiang – is one of the fastest growing manufacturer thanks to a very aggressive price positioning and a wide range of models offered in all continents
Benelli heritage and development
Benelli is one of the ancient Italian motorcycles brand.
Following a long and troubled story, started in Pesaro in the 1911, which makes it the oldest of Italian motorcycle factories in operation, by six brothers, Giuseppe, Giovanni, Francesco, Filippo, Domenico and Antonio Benelli.
Already during the first two World Wars the company evolved from a garage to a stable manufacturers, but only after the ‘fifties it flourished as one of the most innovative and talented company in the design, production and racing activities, although never changing from the “family based” organization. And discussions inside the family has been even the limits and finally the cause of decline.
In the sixties Benelli started exporting in USA and South America.
However, in early ’70s and under the pressure of Japanese manufacturers expansion, Benelli entered in economic difficulty and was subject – together with the other Italian manufacturer Moto-Guzzi – by an Italian-Argentine industrialist Alejandro de Tomaso.
Although the launch of new models was well accepted by the market, under the new ownership, Benelli was incorporated with Moto-Guzzi, in the Guzzi-Benelli Moto (G.B.M. S.p.a.) that transformed Benelli in an empty box.
In 1995 the young Andrea Merloni scion of family of the famous Marche dynasty of household appliances and passionate motorcyclist, has decided to take over the Benelli brand to relaunch it on the world market, first by re-opening the original factory in Pesaro and then creating a team of young and dynamic designers, launching a series of scooters and maximoto to give immediate oxygen to the crates and organize the sales network and assistance.
After an almost positive start, the venture struggled to produce cash and the intrapreneur had to give up, selling the company to a big Chinese conglomerate, in the 2005.
Nowadays, Benelli is part of the Motor Group Qianjiang, a corporation headquartered in Wenling, southeast China. Benelli Q.J. is located in Pesaro, with the same workforce in the same premises as previous proprietor Benelli S.p.A.
Since the Chinese acquisition (2005) the rebuilt of the company was slow and just in the last decade a clear international strategy has been put in place.
Benelli Global Strategy and Results
The Benelli expansion strategy is composed by several factors:
- Italian heritage, with R&D and European operation base still in Pesaro
- Chinese volume production, as the owner optimize production volumes with other owned brands
- Wide range of motorcycles models (plus few scooters), mainly in the low engine displacement (125-500) offered with essential contents, nice style and very aggressive prices
This formula is actually almost successful and Benelli is one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the World.
Between 2016 and 2020 sales increased by 345% at a C.A.G.R. of 69%. Even in the 2020, sales increased sharply (+31%).
In the 2021 Benelli will hit the ninth consecutive all time record, with sales projected to boost an additional 21% (as minimum). In fact, at the end of the first half sales were up 59%.