TVS Motor Company may be one of the company's joining the fray to acquire classic British motorcycle brand Norton Motorcycles, which went into administration in January. According to latest reports, TVS even approached Norton's administrators about a potential deal, but the information is still being kept under wraps, and in fact, the Indian two-wheeler manufacturer is just one of several potential bidders queuing up to acquire the classic British motorcycle marque. Norton Motorcycles went into administration in January 2019, and is being overseen by BDO LLP following accusations of tax misappropriations.
TVS Motor Company is one of India's leading two-wheeler manufacturers, and is also one of the largest exporters of two-wheelers from India. The Indian brand currently manufactures a range of two-wheelers from mopeds, and scooters to premium commuter motorcycles, and entry-level performance motorcycles. TVS also develops and manufactures the 313 cc engine platform for BMW Motorrad, which has the BMW G 310 R and BMW G 310 GS models, manufactured by TVS at its manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. TVS also makes its own version, the flagship model from the company, the TVS Apache RR 310, from that common platform.
In India, the Kinetic Group-owned Motoroyale venture had rights to retail the Norton Motorcycles but even that partnership is under question right now, with Norton going into administration. The partnership with the Kinetic Group is different, than what TVS is reportedly looking for, in the sense that, TVS may be looking for full ownership of the Norton Motorcycles brand. If TVS does become successful in acquiring Norton Motorcycles, the Indian two-wheeler manufacturer will get a foothold in the premium motorcycle segment, with a brand with a rich heritage, known for its racing history during the 20th century, as well as being an established and well-known classic motorcycle brand, both in the UK and around the world.
Carandbike reached out to TVS Motor Company for a response to the media reports, but TVS has declined to comment. "This is speculative in nature and as per our policy, the TVS Group does not comment on any market speculation," a TVS Group spokesperson told carandbike. From what we know, so far TVS has not made a final decision on whether to formally bid for Norton. And it's not clear yet, who are the other potential bidders for Norton.
Norton Motorcycles is a classic British motorcycle brand which made its first motorcycle in 1902. Over the years, the brand has changed ownership multiple times, the most recent being in 2008 when British entrepreneur Stuart Garner acquired the rights. Garner tried to revive the brand with modern versions of the Norton Commando and Dominator models with a new air-cooled 961 cc engine. More accessible middleweight engine platforms were also being planned and under development when Norton started facing the latest round of problems, particularly with former CEO Garner. UK's Pensions Regulator is currently investigating Garner over actions taken when he was trustee of three pension programs which invested in Norton Motorcycles.