Italian race car driver Gianpiero Moretti founded MOMO in 1964 after he commissioned a local craftsman to produce a custom steering wheel for his own race car. This special steering wheel – the first MOMO steering wheel in the company’s history – had a superior grip compared to traditional race steering wheels of the time. Drivers from other teams quickly noticed Moretti’s new steering wheel and wanted the same for their cars, and the Moretti steering wheel quickly gained fame in the racing community. The steering wheel also caught the attention of Ferrari Formula One driver John Surtees, who wanted to mount it on his single-seater car. John Surtees’ Ferrari, equipped with Moretti’s race steering wheel, won the Formula One world title in 1964. Gianpiero Moretti turned his passion into a manufacturing reality, and MOMO (short for Moretti Monza) was born.
MOMO’s production was initially limited to the racing world, but the 1970s saw the company expand into different product lines. Its new products included light alloy wheels and steering wheels for road cars. The company also began supplying original equipment auto manufacturers (OEMs), starting with Ferrari. At the end of the 1980s, MOMO signed a cooperation agreement with Rolls-Royce to be their original equipment supplier. Shortly after, other OEMs followed suit – Aston Martin, Citröen, Daihatsu, Fiat, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Porsche, Peugeot, Renault, Saab, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Throughout these years MOMO also continued its motorsports involvement with major 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. In 1998, Moretti won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 6 Hours Watkins Glen behind the wheel of 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 won races with a MOMO steering wheel in their hands. In 1993 MOMO added specialized fire-resistant clothing for drivers and teams with its new MOMO Corse product line.
1995 was a turning point for the company. Gianpiero Moretti, despite keeping the chairmanship of the group, sold MOMO to Breed Technologies, an American industrial group and global leader in the production of airbag systems and equipped steering wheels. Breed Technologies was eventually acquired by private equity fund Carlyle Management Group, and a few years later Carlyle merged Breed and MOMO with other portfolio companies active in the automotive sector to create Key Safety Systems, a specialized OEM supplier.
More recently, MOMO was acquired by a group of investors with a passion for the brand’s heritage and products, and a desire to grow the company while taking it back to its roots. In 2003, the company restyled its logo to add the tri-color “Italy” wordmark below the iconic MOMO yellow logo. This change emphasized the importance of MOMO’s Italian roots and its well-earned reputation for design, style, and quality craftsmanship. In 2016, the brand changed its main logo back to what many agree is its most iconic, the well-known arrow logo.
MOMO is headquartered in Milan, Italy, and its North American operations are based in Kansas City, MO. The company sells a wide range of performance products for the aftermarket and motorsports in over sixty countries through dealers and direct-to-consumer under the MOMO and Reds brands.
In addition to its focus on light alloy road wheels, the company continues to develop innovative racing products by integrating advanced technology with quality and superior design. Top drivers used MOMO steering wheels from the GP2 Championships in Europe and Asia, to NASCAR in the US.
Since its early days, MOMO always strived to be a leader in product innovation. One example is the work the company put into creating the first collapsible hub for aftermarket steering wheels. It has remained relevant through the decades by keeping close to the aftermarket and motorsports industries and offering products that help its customers and racers perform. This Italian company has earned respect around the world because it never deviates from its simple yet strong values – product quality, superior craftsmanship, maximum safety and the highest performance levels.
We bring to the market the finest Italian style, a long tradition of quality, our proven racing success and technological innovation that is respectful of the environment.
“WE TURN CARS FROM SIMPLE TOOLS INTO A WAY OF LIFE”