The TVS-Norton acquisition was big news during the lockdown. Now with new leadership in place, here is what we can expect from this manufacturer.
TVS Motor Company have been productive during this lockdown period because in addition to being active in coronavirus relief activities, the manufacturer has also made a bold move by acquiring Norton Motorcycles. The TVS-Norton buyout cost the Indian manufacturer roughly Rs 150 crore and will hopefully lead to a new positive chapter for the iconic British marque.
Norton’s New Headquarters
During the press conference, the TVS top boss shed light on some of the key highlights of the TVS-Norton deal. Norton Motorcycles will continue to function out of the United Kingdom. However, the brand will have to move out of its current facility in Donington Hall within the next six months and TVS announced that more details will follow once they are past their planning and strategy phase.
Enthusiasts of the British brand will be glad to know that TVS have decided to retain the original engineering, design and manufacturing teams. The major changes in staff will be at the management level. TVS are planning to revitalize the Norton brand and scale up its production and reach. So their core management team will comprise individuals with the skill-sets and experience that supplement their requirements. The first major hire is former Harley-Davidson boss, John Russel; he will lead Norton Motorcycles from the front to achieve TVS’ vision for the brand.
TVS said that they have been inspired by Norton’s brand ethos, quality, loyal customer base and racing heritage for quite a while now. With the acquisition, TVS’ main goals include engaging with the brand’s loyal customer base, revitalizing Norton to their former glory and scaling up the production significantly. This strategy will see Norton retain their character as a premium boutique brand and will cater to premium customers primarily in developed markets. During the second part of the plan, they will also look to expand to developing countries.
TVS were clear that they will not be responsible for any past liabilities Norton may have had and will begin operations with the goal of executing the 300-odd pending orders. However, they have clarified that they will do everything within reason to make sure that all the customers from the past, present and future do not lose faith in the Norton name. Norton have a 76-strong dealership network across 21 countries and TVS assured that they will use their global reach to expand this footprint in the future.
As of now, Norton will manage their own research, development, engineering and manufacturing while making full use of TVS’ global supply chain. However, for news regarding the manufacture of Norton motorcycles or any parts outside the UK (including the Kinetic-Norton deal in India), we will have to wait until TVS make a detailed announcement.
Sudharshan Venu also hinted that an electric motorcycle from Norton may be in the works.
There is nothing planned specifically for India. It will be business as usual for TVS in India and no products or tech from Norton is expected to find its way into TVS portfolio anytime soon. The most realistic thing to look forward to at this juncture would be the arrival of Norton Motorcycles in India as part of their strategy to focus on developing markets after securing the developed ones. The Indian arrival is confirmed, of course.
As stressed on numerous times during the press conference, TVS made it clear that they have no immediate intention of using Norton’s expertise to supplement TVS products and such plans, if any, will be revealed at a later date along with Norton’s strategy for India.
Story: Joshua Varghese