Momo was founded in 1964 by race car driver Gianpiero Moretti. In that year, Moretti commissioned a local craftsman to produce a custom steering wheel for his own racing car. This special steering wheel – the first Momo steering wheel in the Company’s history – had a superior and thicker grip compared to the normal racing steering wheels available at the time. Drivers from other teams quickly noticed Moretti’s new steering wheel and wanted the same for their cars, and so it started to gain fame within the racing community. The new Momo steering wheel also caught the attention of the then Ferrari Formula One driver, John Surtees, who wanted to mount it on his single-seater car. John Surtees’ Ferrari, equipped with the Momo racing steering wheel, won the Formula One world title in 1964. And so it was that Gianpiero Moretti converted his his passion into a manufacturing reality, and Momo (for Moretti Monza) was born.
At the beginning, Momo's production was limited to the racing world, but in the 1970s, the Company started broadening its horizons by developing new product lines. Momo thus started the production of light alloy wheels and steering wheels for road cars, both for the aftermarket sector and supplying original equipment auto manufactures, starting with Ferrari. At the end of the 1980s, Momo signed a cooperation’s agreement with Rolls-Royce to be their original equipment supplier and later on, many other car manufacturers followed suit: Aston Martin, Citroen, Daihatsu, Fiat, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Porsche, Peugeot, Renault, Saab, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. During those years, Momo also continued its involvement in motor racing with great success: in 1983 the Brabham team won the Formula One championship with their car equipped for the first time with Momo racing light alloy wheels and in 1998, Moretti won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 6 Hours Watkins Glen driving the legendary Ferrari 333 SP. Mario Andretti, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Michele Alboreto, Michael Schumacher and before them Niki Lauda, Jackie Stewart and Clay Regazzoni are only a sample of the best drivers in modern history who competed and won many races with a Momo steering wheel in their hands. 1993 saw the birth of Momo Corse, offering specialized fireproof clothing for drivers and teams.
1995 was a turning point for the Company: Gianpiero Moretti, despite keeping the chairmanship of the group, decided to sell Momo to Breed Technologies, an American industrial group, and a global leader in the production of airbag systems and steering wheels. Breed Technologies was eventually acquired by the Carlyle Management Group, a private equity fund. A few years after the acquisition of Breed Technologies, Carlyle Management merged Breed and Momo with other portfolio companies active in the automotive sector, with the purpose of creating Key Safety Systems (KSS), a specialized OEM supplier. More recently, Momo was acquired by a group of investors, with a passion for the brand, its heritage and its products, and a desire to grow the company back to its roots.
In 2003, the Company's logo had an important restyling, not in terms of design but in relation to the whole concept of the brand: the already existing and typically geometric “MOMO” yellow logo with the black outline, finally appeared with the “Italy” sign underneath, in order to underline and emphasize the importance of the Italian roots of the Company. Italy, and its well deserved worlwide reputation for design, style and the quality of its craftmanship, is an integral part of Momo’s DNA.
Since 2005 Momo has been head-quartered in Milan, Italy with a subsidiary in the US, Momo USA. We sell our products for the aftermarket and motor racing in over sixty countries, mainly through distributors and dealers all over the world, under the brands "Momo" and "Momo Corse".
Momo is still predominantly focused on light alloy road wheels, but the Company has brilliantly carried on the business of developing innovative racing products, incorporating ambitious technological goals and continuing to improve the quality, the safety and and the superior design of Momo products. An example of the goals achieved by the Company was the exclusive supply of Momo steering wheels for the GP2 Championships in Europe and Asia. More recently in the US, Momo has developed a new generation of steering wheels for NASCAR, which are currently used by many top teams and drivers. Since the beginning of its history, Momo has always strived to be an authentic pathfinder in product innovation and marketing. For instance, Momo was the first Company to create and produce the collapsible hub for aftermarket steering wheels. The current brand value of Momo can be attributed to the quality and the beauty of its products, as well as its careful and precise marketing and communication strategy, which has evolved with the times during the half century history of the Company. In 2006, a new innovative advertising line was launched; related to the world of action movies, and it is still considered stylish today.
The Momo brand continues to be inspired by simple yet very strong values: product quality, superior craftmanship, maximum safety standards and the highest performance levels. Design, advanced technology, quality and an exclusive image: these elements have always been the secrets of this successful Italian company, famous all over the world, Momo.