TVS Motor – the £16m Indian takeaway of the British Norton Brand.
By Robin Roberts (and Miles Better News Agency).
TVS Motor from India has confirmed they have purchased Norton Motorcycles for £16 million.
The iconic British motorcycle brand of the Norton slid into administration in February this year after having sold only 128 motorcycles globally in 2019. The company was rescued by TVS Motor, the fifth largest motorcycles company in the World, and now has the challenge to return it to former glories.
The historic Norton marque slid into administration in February amid claims of unpaid tax bills and other financial controversies.
As the weeks progressed it became increasingly clear the mire Norton’s owner Stuart Garner and associated partners had seemingly driven the manufacturer into, with a number of investigations now pending.
However, the brand itself looks to have been saved from complete collapse after TVS Motor – one of a handful of parties thought to be interested in Norton – stepping in with a £16 million deal.
The TVS-Norton deal now is an indication that India’s motorcycle industry is looking for opportunities to expand globally as well as gaining premium brand status acquiring ‘classic’ motorcycle marques and technologies.
This latest TVS-Norton deal comes after the Indian Bajaj partnership with Triumph – a UK marque for premium bikes – in 2017. India’s best known Mahindra & Mahindra brand also acquired the BSA UK based classic bikes manufacturer in 2016. They also negotiated a licence to use the iconic Czech brand ‘Jawa’ which they launched in November 2018 and is now a well-known name in the mid-capacity motorcycle market in India.
Norton was founded by James Lansdowne Norton in Birmingham in 1898, Norton Motorcycles is among the most popular British motorcycle brands of all time, made famous for its Manx Norton race bikes and is still one of the most emotive marques today.
Since the 20th century, Norton Motorcycles has been renowned 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.
Norton moved to its current home at Donington Park in 2008 and in 2009 CEO Stuart Garner set the World Speed Record for a Rotary Powered Motorcycle (recording 173 mph for a timed mile)
Norton is a famous brand, but has actually been basically undersold. They claim to distribute in 21 countries but their global registrations in the 2019 have been only 128 units of which 98 were in the UK.