Maybe the first of many. The first to make the news. And enter negotiations with unions to deal with the situation.
I’m sure EV production hasn’t helped them but as the article notes, “Marelli said in a statement its decision was caused by “the lack of new business due to the reduction of investments by automotive players in internal combustion engines”, as well as rising prices for raw materials and energy.”
Importantly, auto production in Europe fell hard in 2020 (down 24%) and has struggled to recover. I can see why they are closing a plant.
I was thinking the other day as I was mowing our lawn about Briggs & Stratton. Here’s a company that has been in business for over 100 years and now, most likely sees the end of gas powered engines for small lawnmowers, generators, pumps, etc. From the linked article, Briggs & Stratton builds over 9,000,000 engines in the USA each year.
I wonder if they will try and convert to electric motors soon?
Small engine makers in the US have been going toes up for years. Remember Outboard Marine? Bombardier bought the Evinrude and Johnson brands in the liquidation. Remember Tecumseh Engine? The engine division was sold off years ago, then went BK. OMC blamed “intrusive, burdensome, big gummit, ban on 2 stroke engines”. Tecumseh didn’t have that excuse, as it built 4 stroke engines.
They did face more stringent environmental regs that required invest, redesign, and retooling. Not easy for a small player to comply.
Making the same engines they had been making for years did not require much innovation. They probably lacked staff and the culture to adapt to change.
True, the ban on 2 stroke outboards would require OMC management to get off the golf course and do something. OMC was hardly a small player tho. I remember when OMC’s Evinrude and Johnson engines were everywhere. Mercury was the oddball.
Now, Mercury, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha are the big players, in clean, quiet, 4 stroke, outboards. Ironically, Suzuki and Yamaha bikes were predominately 2 stroke back in the day, but those companies could manage the shift to 4 stroke outboards. OMC? Nope.