Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Qianjiang Motor to invest another 20 million euros in Benelli

According to a report on Motociclismo, Qianjiang Motor – the Chinese company that acquired Benelli in 2005 – is looking at investing up to 20 million euros towards developing new Benelli motorcycles. Haimei Yan, the man who heads Qianjiang, says that while Benelli is not profitable yet, they’re not giving up anytime soon. ‘We are here to stay and we believe in the project. We have creativity and the ability to design new motorcycles,’ says Yan.

The new Benelli motorcycles that are expected to be launched by the end of this year include the Due 756, which will be powered by a 90bhp, 756cc parallel twin, and a 600cc supersports machine fitted with an all-new 600cc inline-four, for which the target output is said to be 130bhp at 15,500rpm. With its new bikes and tighter focus on quality control, Benelli will be profitable in a few years time, says Yan.

The biggest obstacle, according to Yan, is the way business is conducted in Italy. ‘Rampant Italian bureaucracy, the convoluted system of granting various permits and chaotic business processes hamper Benelli’s growth and development,’ he says.

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