New ownership and the British brand could provide an engine for an adventure model
In the last few months, Norton went through a lot of allegations from mishandling of funds to fraud which left the company bankrupt. The fingers were pointed towards Stuart Garner, brand CEO. Thankfully, not all is lost as the company was purchased by TVS Motors for $20 million according to MCN. Now, rumour has it that the British brand will supply an engine for an adventure bike.
Norton Motorcycles was acquired by TVS Motors, the third-largest two-wheel manufacturer in India. The $20 million needed to seal the deal was paid in cash by TVS which comes as no surprise since Norton was in administration in the past months.
Furthermore, the Indian manufacturer said it has plans to continue and develop the Commando, Dominator, V4 RR and the 650cc parallel-twin Atlas models. The deal includes a licence to use the existing manufacturing factories for the next six months. Other plans could see Norton expanding their dealerships worldwide. Thus, transforming the British brand from a small UK boutique to a mainstream motorcycle manufacturer.
"In challenging circumstances, we have been able to secure the future of the Norton brand. We are delighted that the sale to TVS Motor Company will protect jobs and provide a highly beneficial outcome to creditors," said Lee Causer, Joint Administrator.
"This is a momentous time for us at TVS Motor Company. Norton is an iconic British brand celebrated across the world and presents us with an immense opportunity to scale globally. Norton with its exciting range of products presents us with an immense opportunity to cater to the aspiration of discerning motorcycle customers around the world. We will extend our full support for Norton to regain its full glory in the international motorcycle landscape," stated Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor Company.
"Norton will continue to retain its distinctive identity with dedicated and specific business plans. TVS Motor will work closely with customers and employees in building the success and pre-eminence of the Norton Motorcycles brand and we look forward to growing together globally in the years to come," he added.
Looking at what the future may hold for Norton, rumour has it that the British company could supply the 650cc parallel-twin engine from the Atlas model to an adventure motorcycle according to RideApart. The news of such a bike dates back to 2017 when Norton Motorcycles signed a design and license agreement with a Chinese manufacturer Zongshen for the 84hp power unit.
“Norton and Zongshen have entered into a 20-year Design and License agreement over an all-new 650cc twin engine. The 650cc twin engine jointly engineered and developed by Norton and Ricardo has been specifically designed to the requirements of Zongshen and will be Euro 4 compliant. This enables Zongshen to meet current and future emissions regulations, clearly an important step for Zongshen and enables them to continue their phenomenal growth in the global motorcycle market,” announced Norton back then.
“The engine and its IP developed by Norton is specific and exclusive to Zongshen and it is expected the engine will be produced under the ‘Zongshen’ or ‘Cyclone’ brands. The value of the deal is to remain private, but the initial consideration paid to Norton is in the millions of dollars with an ongoing royalty on each engine produced. The agreement is for a 20-year term, last year Zongshen produced around 4 million engines.”
Back in 2019, Zongshen launched two prototype bikes based around that engine – Cyclone RX6 and Cyclone RK6 at the China International Motorcycle Trade Exhibition. Alongside the two motorcycles, there was also a Norton Atlas model. The two concept bikes could make it to production next year. Taking all this info into count we could see a Norton powered adventure motorcycle soon.