Magneti Marelli - the path to global leadership

The Italian company Magneti Marelli, a European manufacturer of spare parts for cars and motorcycles, until recently was part of FCA Group. In May 2019, a deal was completed to sell 100 % shares of a Japanese company Calsonic Kansei. The two manufacturers have merged under the Marelli brand. It can be assumed that the main activity will be autonomous driving systems, which are a core topic for Calsonic Kansei, as well as related components and components of the system.

Magneti Marelli SpA

The headquarters of Magneti Marelli is located in the suburbs of Milan. The company includes 89 factories located on almost all continents of the globe. There are also 30 testing and 12 research centers.

Magneti Marelli in India
Magneti Marelli in India

Historical facts

The Italian factory of Magneti Marelli (Fabrica Italiana Magneti Marelli) was founded in 1919 and was abbreviated as FIMM. Company founded FIAT and Ercole Marelli. The new enterprise was supposed to produce batteries, spark plugs, starters and various lighting equipment. The company started as a supplier of racing car parts. The high quality and wear resistance of products quickly brought fame to the manufacturer. The company held dominance in the lighting market for 50 years.

Spare parts Magnetti Marelli
Spare parts Magnetti Marelli

It must be said that the foundation and positioning of the factory in a certain segment is connected with the activities of Ercole Marelli. He opened his own company in 1891, the main activity was electric motors and household appliances. Subsequently, Ercole Marelli began experiments with the magnetic field, which was used in magnets or spark plugs. It was these scientific and technological developments that became the basis of Marelli's cooperation with Fiat.

In addition to achievements in automotive technology, Magneti Marelli was engaged in the development of television signal transmission. The technology was developed 20 years before the launch of television in Italy.

Magneti Marelli at the Monza Rally Show
Magneti Marelli at the Monza Rally Show

Subsequently, in 1937, knowledge was applied to organize military radio communications between sea and submarine vessels. In the 1930s navigation and communications facilities were added to the company's portfolio. FIMM has become a supplier of devices for the maritime and aviation industries.

It wasn't until 1960 that production focused on passenger cars. A significant part of the production was focused on motorcycle equipment and motorsport. In the 1980s, Magneti Marelli was the main manufacturer of batteries not only for cars, but also for other industries, including navy and aviation.

In 1990, the company, part of the Fiat Group, strengthened its position in the market, entering the new millennium as a leader in the automotive industry. It has become the largest contract supplier of spare parts for automotive conveyors, including, in addition to the FCA Group enterprises, the production of: mercedes benz, bmw, Audi, vw, Citroen, Renault, Peugeot, Volvo, GM, etc.

Modern product range

The list of products as a supplier of spare parts for Magneti Marelli has not changed significantly. Well known in the market:

  • starters and generators, as well as spare parts for them;
  • accessories for windshield wipers;
  • lambda probes, sensors;
  • fuel pumps;
  • components and spare parts of the ignition system, including spark plugs for diesel and gasoline units;
  • suspension elements;
  • components of brake systems;
  • cooling systems;
  • units and components for engine repair;
  • lighting engineering;
  • power windows;
  • accumulators;
  • filters;
  • diagnostic equipment.

This best-selling product list is complemented by advanced navigation systems. The company continues to service military orders and is well known in the professional communications equipment market.

Experts emphasize the advantages of the company in customer service:

  • Magneti Marelli is a complete system supplier based on high-tech and reliable components.
  • The company produces more than 30 thousand items of products.
  • The widest range of diagnostic equipment is offered.
  • High qualification of workers in service workshops.
  • The company offers products at an affordable price.

Experts attribute the company's success to highly motivated staff. Magneti Marelli was one of the first in history to launch an in-house magazine. The publication was published from 1924 to 1942 under the title Sprazzi e Bagliori. At the same time, the magazine raised not only industrial and very serious topics, but was also distinguished by high artistic performance.

Motorcycle Batteries by Magneti Marelli
Motorcycle Batteries by Magneti Marelli

To date, Magneti Marelli is the sole manufacturer of batteries for the FCA Group brands.

New Marelli brand

Although Fiat is the original owner of the company, Magneti Marelli has failed to show its potential within the group. It is difficult to say what the lack of scientific and technological implementation of the enterprise on the market is connected with, but Fiat and its strategy could be the reason.

Special expectations are placed on cooperation with Calsonic Kansei. The company will be able to develop its own strategy, not limited to the production of cars. Marelli will become a new global brand with a global presence and will focus on supplying new generation parts. The manufacturer pays special attention to high-tech developments, which are largely not implemented by the company.

The new brand unites 170 production and research centers at its base. The brand stands out for its strong distribution network, global presence and excellent customer service. The brand will have two headquarters in Corbett, Italy and Saitama, Japan.

Cooperation with racing teams

Magneti Marelli has provided technical support to the leading racing teams in Formula 1, as well as the World Rally Championship (WRC) and Motorcycle Racing (MotoGP) since its inception. For these purposes, Magneti Marelli has created an energy recovery system called KERS. It has been used by Ferrari, Toyota, Toro Rosso, Renault, Red Bull, Sauber, Lotus Renault teams since 2011.

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