MV Agusta's bold new future: Timur Sardarov interview Part 2
MV Agusta have big plans, including electric bikes, but they’re not shying away from the machines they’re best known for. At the start of June, they unveiled a signature one-of-one special edition Brutale 1000 RR for a customer, but speaking to MCN, MV’s owner admits the future lies elsewhere.
"I completely understand that the future belongs to more environmentally friendly ways of transportation but every brand needs to choose this path in its own time," says Timur Sardarov. "Cagiva will be back, Cagiva will be electric. It will focus on urban mobility and we will see something within the next 24 months."
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The Russian businessman, who’s been at the helm of MV since 2018, believes that electric power is ideal for commuting or nipping around a city centre but is not ready to be used in the kind of high-performance machines that carry the MV Agusta badge admitted that MV itself is five to seven years away from presenting new machines in the electric mobility market because they intend to develop everything in-house.
"25 per cent of our employees are engineers who work in the R&D department and we are proud of it. We have a long history of doing things first, of being on the edge of technological integration. Electric bikes are no exception… Our bikes are built from the best components and the same will happen when we choose to go electric."
Looking slightly closer to home though, MV are keen not to immediately shed their petrol powered roots, especially after the success of the Superveloce 800.
"We will continue expanding this category with the same principle of having the best performance blended with a retro feel," adds Sardarov. "Usually, scramblers and flattrackers are not just a retro-styled product but also perform the same way.
"We are working on this type of product but I cannot say when we’re going to bring it to our customers because we just don’t want something that’s popular, we want something to represent MV Agusta."
New F4 coming, but not yet: MV Agusta owner Timur Sardarov on superbikes, Norton and affordable new models
First published on May 28, 2020 by Ben Clarke
Setting aside the last few months of lockdown, MV Agusta have been enjoying a period of relative stability. The company are going well under the ownership of Timur Sardarov – a finance expert with a love of hyper machines. With the brand celebrating 75 years, we spoke with him to discover what he’s got up his sleeve.
But first – the elephant in the room. Like most businesses, MV Agusta were forced to suspend activities because of the coronavirus pandemic but they were also one of the first to get going again, although Sardarov says it was their actions, rather than their small size, that saved the day.
"There is no difference between being public and being private, between small and big companies during a health crisis," he told MCN. "We were very proactive in managing safety protocols and implementing all the right procedures for the government checks that allow us to open. We followed the safety measures and we’ve been very proactive with our unions and our employees to open quicker than everyone else."
As a brand known for building luxury models, some had MV down as a possible buyer for Norton but this was never really on the cards.
"When we heard about Norton filing for bankruptcy, we just expressed interest to see what was available from the assets, but we were never seriously interested and we never put in any bids. MV Agusta itself just came out of crisis and for us it’s very important to have a focus on our important and iconic brand."
And part of that focus revolves around their deal with Loncin to build small capacity models for the Asian market in China. Sardarov has been critical of the way previous owner AMG failed to protect the prestige of the brand, but he says that it’s different this time around.
"Right now, MV Agusta for the first time in its history has its own plan. There’s no big industrial group or investors or a different motorcycle brand that the company belongs to.
"Due to globalisation, no one can produce small capacity performance motorcycles in Europe. We would like to do it but it’s impossible, we would be uncompetitive."
And what about the very high performance end of motorcycling? "Our F4 platform has been discontinued and we will come back to this no sooner than in five years time. Then we will enter back into the superbike series as well."