LONG BEACH, CA (BRAIN) — Italian fork brand Marzocchi has moved its U.S. operations from Valencia to Long Beach, California, and following a difficult year in 2012, says it is ready to return strongly to the OE market for the 2014 model year. The company plans to introduce new models to the industry at the Taipei Cycle Show in March and other models to the public at the Sea Otter Classic in California in April.
Marzocchi, which is owned by the U.S.-based Tenneco, suffered a blow last year when its long-term fork and shock assembly agreement with SR Suntour ended after a plan for SR Suntour to buy the brand fell apart. Subsequently, several key members of Marzocchi's U.S. operation left to form DVO Suspension, whose products are being assembled by SR Suntour.
Marzocchi soon reached an agreement with Taiwan's Hodaka to assemble its forks, but the disruption meant the brand lost most of its 2013 model year OE spec.
Marzocchi's Andrea Pierantoni told BRAIN last week that the company is back on track.
"Production is already started (for the 2014 model year). It's going very well; the quality we have seen up to now is much better than previous. The fatigue tester is passing double the time of previous, and we are getting very good feedback from first tests," he said. "The final answer will come from the market, but so far we are very happy," he said.
Marzocchi also has confirmed its team and rider partnerships for 2013, which include support for the MS Mondraker team, Marathon World Champion Ilias Periklis, UCI DH Champion Morgane Charre, multi-champion Michal Prokop and slope style riders including Andreu Lacondeguy and Sam Pilgrim.
Pierantoni said the company would announce a new U.S. OE sales manager soon.