TVS Motor Company has bought UK’s iconic sporting motorcycle brand Norton in an all-cash deal for a sum of about Rs 153 crore (US$ 21.89 million), marking domestic two-wheeler major’s entry into the top end (above 850cc) of the superbike market.
Norton Motorcycles was founded by James Lansdowne Norton, in Birmingham, in 1898, is the most popular British motorcycle brands and is one of the most emotive marquees today.
It is famous for their classic models and eclectic range of luxury motorcycles ranging from authentic retro classic reboots of the famous Commando to their contemporary 200 bhp, 1200cc V4 super-bikes. Its other popular models include Dominator and V4 RR.
The company has presence across 21 countries with portfolio of bikes that are priced in the range of 25,000-45,000 pounds with custom-built features.
Though, it has been facing challenges with its annual sales plunging to 500 units in the past two years.
The deal between two companies involves the acquisition of certain assets of Norton Motorcycles (UK) Ltd (in administration) through one of TVS Motor’s overseas subsidiaries, and it is not carrying any liabilities of the British company.
“Norton has fantastic global appeal with its British heritage, and we see an opportunity to nurture and grow this brand globally. We will extend our full support for Norton to regain its full glory in the international motorcycle landscape,” Mr Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor Company said.
The company expects to witness a strong synergy between both the brands and hopes that Norton motorcycles can be benefited TVS Motor Company’s global reach and supply chain capabilities to expand to newer markets.
TVS Motor will hold 55-odd staff of Norton and will strengthen the existing manufacturing facility for future growth.
“We have huge pending orders for Norton bikes, and our immediate focus is to fulfil those orders. Norton bikes are sold across 21 markets. We will strengthen the brand’s presence in those markets first and then look at expanding to more markets, including India,” said Mr Sudarshan Venu.
This deal with Norton is for different segment than the company’s tie-up with BMW.
“Norton will continue to retain its distinct brand identity with dedicated and specific business plans. TVS Motor will work closely with customers and employees in rebuilding the brand for future growth,” he added.