After Harley, MV Agusta Announces a China Light and Middleweight Displacement Deal
In the latest spin of the wheel in the motorcycle industry's burgeoning light and middleweight displacement direction of travel, former Harley-Davidson subsidiary MV Agusta has followed Harley down the path to manufacture small displacement motorcycles for the burgeoning lightweight and middleweight markets in China by inking a deal with Chinese industrial giant Loncin Motor Co.
Now under Russian ownership, the iconic Italian race and sportbike brand will see Loncin manufacturing MV Agusta branded 350-500 cc models in what is described as a "long-term strategic partnership agreement that has, as a base, the development of an all new family of MV Agusta products.
"The vehicles will be completely designed by MV Agusta to occupy the premium segment of this high growth market - Loncin is the market leading motorcycle manufacturer in Asia. Like all MV Agusta products, this new 4-model family will embody the unique MV Agusta DNA - its unique sound and vehicle dynamics will spark a strong connection with all the new riders."
In a move that is clearly aimed at replicating their former owner's playbook, a strategy successfully pursued by several manufacturers in recent decades, not least by Ducati, "this strategic alliance will enable MV Agusta to enlarge its current product portfolio with the objective of increasing our riders globally and expanding access into Asia. The collaboration marks a significant progress towards a major pillar in the MV Agusta accelerated growth plan. The company objective is to expand access to the MV Agusta brand and driving incremental sales, both of the new, smaller displacement motorcycles and of the current Italian 675, 800 and 1000 cc MV Agusta product range."
The new models are slated to be in Chinese dealerships by the end of 2021.
Interestingly, MV Agusta and Loncin have confirmed that their partnership "will not be limited to the development of the new family of products in the 350-500 cc range. It also includes MV Agusta assisting Loncin in entering the premium segment market with MV's 800 cc platform.
Following its full take-over by Russian multibillionaire oil and gas magnate Rashid Sardarov in 2018, Giovanni Castiglioni, the last connection to the Castiglioni dynasty, was ousted as Chairman and CEO and retained as company President, with corporate and strategic management now in the hands of son and CEO Timur Sardarov.
The President of Loncin, Mr. Yong Gao, announced: "The conclusion of the strategic agreement is conducive to Loncin's and MV Agusta's joint response to the changes in global market demand and to the coordinated development of both sides. Loncin will use advanced manufacturing resources and Chinese market knowledge to help MV Agusta expand its product line and enhance product competitiveness. MV Agusta's technology and advanced design experience of high-performance motorcycles will support Loncin's VOGE brand in becoming the market leader of premium motorcycles in China."
Timur Sardarov is quoted as saying: "This strategic alliance is an important step to consolidate our vision for the future of MV Agusta. Our target is to reaffirm our leadership in the production of upper-premium motorcycles, while also enlarging our customer base by offering a broader range of products without compromising our distinctive design and performance."
Loncin produces over one million vehicles a year - mostly PTWs (Powered Two-Wheelers) and related units and has annual production capacity for 2,500,000 motorcycles, 3,000,000 motorcycle engines and 150,000 ATVs.