VM's origins date back to 1947 when two entrepreneurs, Vancini and Martelli whose initials give rise to the acronym by which the Company is still known today, decided to set up a company, in Cento, Italy in the heart of Emilia Romagna, to design and build diesel engines dedicated to the construction of diesel engines mainly for the agricultural sector.

The company acquires fame and importance not only territorial but also national when some time after its foundation it builds the first Italian diesel engine, whose production soon emerges from the national borders.


Triestini Mechanical Plant, SNIA-IRI / Finmeccanica joint venture for the production of machinery for the creation of textile fibers is facing a deep corporate crisis due to the reduction of the orders that SNIA had entrusted to it, following a period of severe contraction of the textile market. To restore SMT's activities and resume business operations, Finmeccanica purchases the SNIA share package and, at the end of long negotiations with VM Motori


Launches the merger by incorporation of SMT into VM, originating a new company, the Stabilimenti Meccanici VM S.p.A. with factories, the first in Cento for the construction of industrial engines and the second in Trieste for the construction of marine engines and generators. With this merger, the company became part of the IRI-Finmeccanica group.


Finmeccanica gave life to the diesel grouping which put beside the Ducati at the VM Cento and Trieste plant, the Isotta Fraschini of Bari and Saronno and the Diesel Experience Studies Center (Cesid) with a diversified engine production.


VM was privatized.


In Milan the company presented a new type of engine, the turbotronic, which, through the use of electronics in the engine combustion process, was defined as the cleanest engine in the world. This revolutionary engine, thanks to the supercharging and the use of electronics in the combustion process control, was able to provide excellent performance in terms of power and to deserve the nickname of “the world's cleanest diesel engine”.


Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) buys VM Motori and is 5 years later becoming part of the DaimlerChrysler Group.


General Motors acquires 50% of VM Motori


Fiat Powertrain purchased Penske's stake, thus becoming the owner of 50% of VM Motori.


FCA purchases the remaining 50% thus becoming wholly owned by the company. Since 2014, VM ​​Motori is part of the FCA group.


Cento plant, under the VM Motori brand, has continued a tradition from its origins: to build diesel engines for INDUSTRIAL AND MARINE applications. The new features are the on-road EURO VI diesel and the Stage V off-road diesel, developing in-house also the Urea aftertreatment and tank systems to be supplied to customers as a single package. Absolute novelty a new 3.0L V6 marine engine available with power up to 270HP.