Rad­i­cal fi­nan­cial re­struc­ture has put lux­ury Ital­ian mar­que on road to re­cov­ery

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Andy Downes

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.

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!”

‘We are dis­cussing... with new in­vestors but right now we are gen­er­at­ing cash’

MV’S CEO Gio­vanni Castiglioni told MCN that we can ex­pect a few sur­prises from the firm Made for a Ja­panese col­lec­tor, the F4Z fea­ture cus­tom body­work made from car­bon fi­bre

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