Malaguti is a family-owned Italian scooter and motorcycle company based in San Lazzaro di Savena, founded by Antonino Malaguti in 1930.
From a very simple bicycle shop, the company has continuously grown during the years and now it spreads through two factories seated just out of Bologna.
Until the end of War World II Malaguti had to stop production while Italy was invaded and later on when its owners were hiding in the mountains from the retreating German army. Unlike its Bologna neighbor, Ducati, the Malaguti factory was not bombed by the Allies for it was not a significant threat. In the late 1950s the company decided to expand business and began to private label other products and assemble new vehicles. Similar to Ducati, Malaguti diversified into washing machines, exercise equipment and other manufactured goods that carried the Malaguti name. The company also sold many items to the Sachs company in Germany and have maintained a relationship with Sachs well into 2006, when Sachs declared bankruptcy.
During the Vietnam war era of the 1960s and 1970s, Malaguti exported over 70% of its first scooters to Vietnam. The first 50cc Malaguti scooter was called the Saigon 50cc.
Malaguti was originally imported into the United States during the 1970s OPEC oil embargo. At one point the small factory in Bologna had up to three daily flights sending mopeds to its five different importers who were paying more in air shipping than what the mopeds cost to make. This was the first major boom for Malaguti since the end of the Vietnam war. Malaguti's sales skyrocketed as it sent thousands of mopeds to California and other states to help Americans survive during the months of the OPEC oil embargo. Not since its first moped had Malaguti had such a hit with a new product. An assembled moped would be sold in America the following week. The demand was high and orders continued to be placed well into months after the OPEC crisis ended, but this sales boom did not last and Malaguti's sales went down. At the time many moped manufacturers in Italy and Europe went bust due to overexpansion and credit given to multiple importers riding the moped sales wave in America, but Malaguti survived and dreamed of returning to the United States someday.
In the early 80s there were over 82 moped / scooter manufacturers in Italy and most of these had made their fortunes in the early 70s thanks to the needs for new mopeds in Italy. By the late 1990s only a handful of companies remained who had converted to scooters to take advantage of the scooter boom. The main scooter makers were Beta, Benelli, Italjet, Aprilia, Malaguti, and Piaggio. Malaguti at this time and for much of the late 1990s was ranked as third based on sales and production for Italian owned factories for small displacement scooters. Its much bigger rivals were Aprilia and Piaggio, both which were engaged in some type of motorcycle production. Despite all these changes, Malaguti, which had been in business longer than its rivals, kept the company 100% family owned during these turbulent times. Often the company reached out for promotional and marketing opportunities to its sister company Ducati Motor Spa.
(text source: Wikipedia)
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