Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MZ may be revived. Again


From the 1970s ES150 to the more recent 1000SF, MZ have made some totally cool motorcycles. So, yes, the old German company deserves yet another chance...

MZ is one of those once-great eastern European motorcycle manufacturers who fell upon hard times many decades ago and have, since then, been going through various bust-revival-bust cycles. Those who want the fully story on the MZ name and heritage can look here. For the rest of us, to quickly recapitulate, MZ had been bought over by Malaysian company Hong Leong Industries Bhd, in 1996. After struggling with losses for more than a decade, Hong Leong decided to pull the plug on MZ last year (we wrote about it back then, here).

Now, it seems there’s again talk of the legendary German motorcycle company being revived. According to a report in German magazine Motorrad, two German ex-motorcycle racers – Martin Wimmer and Ralf Waldman – have purchased the rights to the MZ name from Hong Leong, for a rumoured 4-5 million euros. Wimmer has been appointed the new CEO at MZ and the two men are looking at developing new motorcycles which will be sold in Europe under the MZ brand name. Parts for these machines are likely to be sourced from Asia, probably China and/or India.

So, is it going to be party-time in Zschopau all over again? Umm… we really don’t know. We do think MZ have built some really cool motorcycles in the past, but whether the company can make a comeback – especially in the current economic scenario – is a question that’s open to debate. Of course, Wimmer and Waldman are doing more than just debating the question – they’re putting their money where their mouth is. We hope they’ll be successful – here’s wishing them all the best!
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