Brit bike manufacturer Norton sees more changes, with a new CEO and new technical chief installed in the middle of the company’s great reboot.
Indian manufacturer TVS owns Norton these days, after the company had a spectacular meltdown in early 2020. Norton didn’t even need the help of COVID-19; in the weeks before the pandemic spread around the globe, the company ran into tax trouble. Then, former factory rider John McGuinness made rumblings about Norton not paying its bills; other people started looking more closely into the company’s problems, politicians started digging, and Norton was in administration at the end of January.
The fallout in following weeks painted a ghastly picture of the company’s finances. Customers and investors alike complainedthey’d been fleeced, and some insiders pointed out Norton’s problems had been swept under the rug for years. Midway through February, the plant shut down. By April, TVS had picked over the company’s bones, and bought the business. Since then, TVS has been working at bringing the company back into business.
After all that roller-coaster action, everyone involved would no doubt welcome some stability, and that’s slowly been coming, with a new HQ and factory reboot. TVS is getting Norton back online, and just brought in Dr. Robert Hentschel to fill in the CEO role. Vittorio Urciuoli comes aboard as Norton’s new Chief Technical Officer.
It’s big news, potentially, because Norton’s previous leadership was running the company into the ground, even though customers wanted its motorcycles, and there were plans to bring in exciting new products in coming months. Although Norton is far from the company it was in the 1970s, there are still many riders who remember those bikes, and want modern counterparts. With new leadership on board, and the new Atlas 650 models on the market soon, this Brit bike brand might actually be ready to turn around.
Previously, Dr. Hentschel was managing director at Valmet Automotive Holding, a Finnish automotive engineering/manufacturing outfit. As for Mr. Urciuoli, he’s previously worked with Aprilia, as well as Lotus and Ferrari.