Montanari: 50 years of lift history

 In Industry news

Companies are made by people. Successes, battles, victories and defeats are always imbued with the stories of the people who have lived them.
The anniversary that we celebrate today is an important achievement whose story begins in Modena, in Chile street, one day in 1970.
The following is a tale of people, gearboxes, gearless, lifts, travels, cities, life.

The beginning

Great stories (almost) always start from simple people, as our protagonists. A man and a woman that we will call by their real name: Giulio Montanari and Orianna Benetti.

Both of them, with a dream and a lot of will to make it, looked beyond the horizon with confidence and, probably even with a pinch of fear, opened the door of their garage and started this beautiful adventure (if you think about it, many great enterprises were born right in a garage).

How did it go? Take the time to read all the way through. We are sure you will enjoy it and you will feel you know us a bit more.


The first decade

It starts with big dreams in small spaces.
The garage, we were saying. There the first diverting pulleys see the light. Small handcrafted pieces.
It is the period of the economic boom and Italy is growing. Day after day and with patience small fruits and great satisfactions arrive.
Investments in those years are called sacrifices impregnated by the acrid taste of sweat and the metallic smell of cast iron.

In 1978 the first gearbox saw the light. The name, M78, is an acronym and so it will be for the following models: M73 – M75 – M83.
They look like the names of racing cars, but a vertical travel to climb the upper floors of a pulsating Italy.
The numbers are growing and our garage is now small. We move to Via Allende in a 2,000 sq.m. building. It’s a huge space that fills up with machineries, people, projects and the desire to go higher and higher. Modena is a land that roars. A land of engines in a world that runs fast.

We are international

Design, production and quality!
In Italy as abroad. We are an international company. It is the market that wants and acclaims the Montanari Giulio brand.
It is 1980. The company continues to grow.
The range of products widens and on the market there are 12 models of Montanari gearboxes for lifts. The watchword, to meet the growing demands of the market, is investment. Lifts make travel vertically the whole Italy and the heart that drives them has more and more the Montanari brand. A lift like a body. A  machine capable of breaking down architectural barriers and making buildings more liveable, right up to the upper floors. Lifts for public and private buildings pulled by Montanari gearboxes.

In 1987 we move again and we take up residence in Via Bulgaria. Our current location.

Italian pride

In 1996 we are ISO 9001 certified to further guarantee our promise of quality. Our heart from Emilia extends to Lombardy.

We also decide to produce our own electric gearbox motors. In 1997 we founded Elemol in Lodi. We directly control over 95% of production.
Architecture evolves, the flow of people towards cities increases, the global lift market changes and is shaped by these dynamics.
New installation requirements lead to new products.

Gearless arrives on the scene. Montanari responds with the MDD model, launched in 1999.
We manage modernization projects and new installations in an excellent way, thanks to the technical know-how that distinguishes us. We become and we are valuable partners for multinationals and independent lifting systems manufacturers in Italy and worldwide.

A reference point for maintainers, distributors and installers. At the forefront in the discussion of lift standards with our historic technical director, Stefano Bertoni, a milestone in our history from foundation till today.

The new millennium

Step by step, year after year, 30 years have passed since our garage. Montanari is an established brand, synonymous with quality, reliability and safety.
The new millennium proposes new markets and more competition. We choose quality without compromise. We invest more and more in modern machinery, technological innovation, informatization and at the end of 2010 the plant in Via Bulgaria will be over 32,000 square meters.

The invisible part of the lift is increasingly Montanari branded; beyond the metal sheet walls of the car there is a wonderful world inhabited by gearboxes (Penta, M73, M109), gearless (MGV25, MGX80), speed governors, safety gears, rope attachments, car frames and much more.

Foreign branches

Our ability and knowledge are the embryo from which we develop two new flagships.
We start in 2008 from India and in 2015 in China. The distances that divide us from these countries, the characteristics of the market and the investment opportunities that we can seize, together with the development of local competition and the growing entry barriers, require a direct presence after years of supplies from Italy.

A challenge that could only be met with local production. Montanari Lifts Components and Montanari Drive Technology are founded.
These companies manufacture in India for the Indian market and in China for the Chinese market. Product lines are designed and developed to adapt to the specific needs, but with a strong Italian imprint.

The worm wheel block (the heart of Montanari gearboxes) and the gearless shaft are 100% supplied by the Italian plant.
We invest in these countries with modern companies, daughters of the philosophy of the parent company that guides their processes and growth. The excellence of Made in Italy, the technical know-how are exported to these markets together with the culture of safety in vertical transport. Modena, Pune, Shanghai under
the same brand: quality, reliability and durability.


In 2011 we prematurely lose a cornerstone of our history. There is space for tears, goodbyes, graces and memories. We say goodbye to Orianna, who since its foundation and for 40 years has marked the evolution and growth of the company. Through the words of those who knew her we can imagine this person who has left an indelible mark on what Montanari was and is today.

The present is more and more research and innovation

The last decade is characterised by increasing competitive pressure. For us, there is no compromise on quality and we constantly invest to give our customers a unique and high level product. Unique for technical characteristics and services that surround it.

We continue to bring innovation. New products, new solutions. The company is now in its second generation under the guidance of  Massimo Montanari.
The production site in Italy reaches 45,000 square metres from which over 40,000 machines leave every year towards the lifts of the world.
In 2016 we inaugurated our testing tower.
A 55 meters high laboratory. Its futuristic design dominates the panorama of Modena. Here we develop and test new products and special projects.
In the same year we extend our product range to escalators and moving walks gearboxes.

In 2017 we become Montanari Group to incorporate under the same name all the reality that belongs to us and the quality that distinguishes us.
Making traction machines is an art that belongs to us. We stand beside the lift operators and we are committed to making products that last over time, technologically advanced and able to guarantee ride quality.

We provide our customers with qualified services
and study solutions that facilitate their business. From the design of the machines, to technical consultancy, to the tools made available before and after the sale.
In 2019, from an IOT point of view, our technical department studies and realizes Montanari Giulio App which, thanks to a QR code applied on the label, allows to manage the product from the exit from our warehouse and during the installation and maintenance phases.

The future

The lift market is evolving rapidly and companies are shaping themselves according to its dynamics. The urban development projections published by the World Economic forum present us with a scenario in which migration from rural areas to cities will intensify and the world will be increasingly organised upwards. Effective planning and organisation of vertical transport in buildings will be a priority for people’s quality of life.

We are ready to take up and face new challenges with the same spirit and determination as always.  Made by Montanari is a synonymous of guarantee. We celebrate these 50 years proud of what we have built.

This article is dedicated to all the people who have made and are part of this journey and who have made this dream possible and great. There is a heart beating inside every Montanari branded product.

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