Norton Motorcycles is looking ahead to a brighter future with fervent optimism after formally heralding its new era under fresh management with the opening of its new factory and headquarters in Solihull.
The storied British marque is on the recovery trail after almost collapsing in February 2020 amid spiralling debt and a brewing investigation being sought against its then CEO Stuart Garner over the mishandling of pension funds set up under the Norton name.
However, it was saved in a deal struck with Indian motorcycle manufacturer TVS Motors, which has stepped in to wipe out Norton’s debt and inject fresh investment aimed at re-establishing its reputation for premium, bespoke motorcycles.
A key stage in this process has been to relocate its head office, R&D hub and production from Donington Hall to a new, modern facility in Solihull.
At the heart of Norton’s new chapter is an attempt to allay concerns over quality control following a slew of allegations made against the company under its former management structure regarding poor working practices and long waiting lists of orders to be fulfilled.
As a result, the new factory is capable of building 8,000 motorcycles a year utilising brand-new equipment to complement an expanded skilled workforce that has brought 100 new jobs to the area.
With the revised Norton V4 SV marking the first new model to come from the company under TVS’ steer, new CEO Robert Hentschel says the new base is the platform from which Norton will springboard into an exciting future that has both learned from the past and will strive to establish a new legacy going forward.
“The new Norton Motorcycles headquarters is a true embodiment of this iconic British marque. The facility is home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support departments, as well as the highly skilled production team overseeing the build of our new generation of motorcycles.
“It is the perfect platform to re-energise our business as we lead the Norton brand to onward success where it will play a key role in the future of mobility.
“This investment demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the motorcycles we build. We will not compromise on quality,and we continue to work alongside every supplier to ensure that our high standards are always met.
“With this new HQ opening, Norton is now fit for the future –creating an innovative and sustainable business model which will see us producing world-class motorcycles that are true to the unrivalled legacy of Norton.”
Touting Norton as a motorcycle manufacturer with immense potential to become a major player globally once more, TVS Motors managing director Sudarshan Venu says his company is committed to its long-term goals.
“The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcyclesand is a proud moment for everyone.We are creating the foundations for a sustainable long-term future for the Norton marque.
“We are setting out to create a bold future for the company, our employees, our customers and our partners that lives up to the highest expectations,enablingNorton to once again become the real global force its legacy deserves.”
Though Norton is yet to disclose the direction it intends to take regarding new motorcycles, it has hinted it will pursue electric powertrain development and intends to make a return to motorsport with an Isle of Man TT or British Superbike Championship bid.