Norton Motorcycles announce end of deliveries to Garner era customers and bring in former Manchester United CEO

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Solihull-based Norton Motorcycles have confirmed the completion of all outstanding Commando and V4 orders left over from the Stuart Garner era, following a £2.3million redevelopment and delivery program of both platforms.

The Norton brand was purchased for £16million by TVS Motor Company Group in April 2020, following the collapse of Norton Motorcycles UK Ltd (NMUL). Producing around 4.95 million powered two wheelers for global markets annually, TVS then pledged a further £100million to the British brand in the same year.

Norton V4SV parked by a container

Once in charge, the Indian conglomerate announced they would honour the previously paid deposits on Commando and V4SS models made to NMUL and complete orders. They have since extensively redeveloped both platforms – announcing in June 2021 that they would be unable to repair the V4SS and since introduced the £44,000 V4SV.

“It is a great achievement being able to deliver motorcycles to NMUL customers and new Norton Motorcycle customers alike,” Norton Motorcycles CEO, Dr Robert Hentschel said. “Seeing their joy first hand is a great source of pride, both for Norton and for me personally. We can now focus our efforts on the future, on new products and new markets around the world.”

A spokesperson for the brand also confirmed to MCN that all customers who had placed a deposit on a Commando or V4 were offered the service, with most taking up the offer. In total, 70 V4s were built for ‘old Norton’ customers, alongside 19 Commandos.

Norton V4CR parked on the roadside

Dr Hentschel continued: “Following a £7million investment in our state of the art headquarters in Solihull, Birmingham, we employed a dedicated team, focussed on an extensive quality improvement programme so that we could provide both legacy and new customers with our reengineered V4SV, Commando 961 and the new V4CR,” Dr Hentschel continued.

“Alongside this, development of the future product range continues to make excellent progress thanks to the recent addition of Brian Gillen as Chief Technical Officer.”

Gillen’s appointment was officially announced back in February, having previously held the title of R&D Director at Italian brand MV Agusta. He worked with them for over 15 years and had a hand in many of their luxurious three-and four-cylinder models.

Norton factory waiting room

New appointments

On top of Brian’s arrival, Norton have now also hired former CEO of Manchester United Football Club, Richard Arnold, who will assist in Norton’s development into an international company.

Announced on Tuesday, June 11, the brand have confirmed he will join the senior leadership team as
they prepare to transition into new product lines and market expansion.

“I see a hugely exciting future for Norton Motorcycles, and I am proud to become part of the team,” Arnold said. “The investment made to date by TVS Motor Company has put Norton in an excellent position; ready to launch new products and develop a global sales proposition.

Norton Commando 961 on the road

“I am looking forward to using my experience to assist Norton in maximising the opportunities ahead and helping the established commercial team deliver a world class customer experience.”

The Norton CEO added: “With the NMUL chapter closed, Richard is well placed to join us as we focus our resources on the future and our aim to become the most desirable motorcycle brand.”

Homologation hurdles

As it stands, current product lines cannot be sold internationally, due to the motorcycles not meeting the latest emissions standards.

“The actual engines are non-Euro5 compliant,” Hentschel told MCN at the 2023 Motorcycle Live show at Birmingham’s NEC. “That means we can sell the bikes only in the UK, with Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval registrations.”