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MV Agusta boss: "We're back on course"

Published: 07 September 2016

Six months after MV Agusta were forced to implement a company restructure in the face of rising debts, boss Giovanni Castiglioni has told MCN the company is back on track – and back to full production.

After months of reduced production while the firm’s financial issue were resolved, the MV factory in Varese, Northern Italy is now churning out the full range of existing and new 2017 bikes, which will be launched over the next few months.

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The year has been a tough time for MV as the company had basically run out of money and needed to massively reduce operating costs, find new investment and arrange for a short period of grace from paying back debts while the restructure was arranged.

Back in March 2016, Castiglioni explained how MV Agusta would have to become a smaller company with much lower costs, and focus on the high-end of the bike market in order for it to survive. This work began immediately and is now six months down the line. It meant ambitious plans to up annual production from the current 10,000 bikes per year to nearer 20,000 were scrapped.

No firm plans have been publicly announced about how MV Agusta will move forward from here, but there will be a statement made at the end of October when the deadline for the firm’s debt refinancing runs out. But Castiglioni has exclusively told MCN that the company is now generating cash flow again, that costs have been slashed, and a full line-up of Euro4 compliant bikes will be shown in the next few months.

German car company AMG, a division of Mercedes-Benz and parent company Daimler, are a 25% shareholder in MV Agusta, and while there have been many rumours of a split between the firms, this hasn’t changed in any way at the moment. It is not thought that AMG have much interest in making their share larger, but there is also no clear indication that they will sell their stake either.

Castiglioni said: "We are still working on the final elements of restructuring the company in order for it to become a smaller company that is focused on our core markets like the Brutale models, our three-cylinder bikes and bikes like the Dragster, which have been selling very well.

"We are still discussing the exact situation with new investors but right now we are generating cash and, combined with the existing investors we have, there may not be a need for additional investment. This is still to be decided for sure but by the end of October we have to submit a plan regarding future investment plans. Everything is open at the moment.

"What our plan entails is to continue to make special bikes, keep away from the lower end of the market and there will be no small bikes like the Ducati Scrambler for MV in the foreseeable future. New bikes like this will have to wait for a while, as there is no cheap way of developing new motorcycles – and we need to focus on our core products right now."

Just like other major manufacturers, MV Agusta have been forced to make any bike they want to sell after January 1, 2017 meet Euro4 regulations. This means almost the whole of the MV’s current range needed to be updated to meet noise and emissions. As from the start of 2016 all new bikes above 125cc also need to have ABS fitted as standard.

Castiglioni added: "No current models will be killed off by Euro4 and all of the new bikes will be released later this year. These will be the new 2017 models and there might a surprise or two later this year too!"

 

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