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#880383 05/12/22 5:18 pm
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British Motorcycle Icon Norton Roars Back to Life With 100M Pound Investment

https://jalopnik.com/british-motorcycle-icon-norton-roars-back-to-life-with-1848881678

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NORTON: More lives than a cat, and most of them short.

Chip H #880433 05/13/22 12:36 pm
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VERY old news.

TVS is a worldwide player with VERY deep pockets, and proven profitability using their own money.

It will go well, regardless of what the naysayers want to say about new Nortons not being British.


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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
VERY old news.

TVS is a worldwide player with VERY deep pockets, and proven profitability using their own money.

It will go well, regardless of what the naysayers want to say about new Nortons not being British.

Well, you know, there are "People Following the Crowd and Cheering" and then there are "Naysayers". I've been both, because one is not 'better' than the other when it comes to motorcycles ....

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SMELLS
Assuming they £ 10,000 gross profi per bike , and that is very doubful at th estimated output of 8,000 bikes a year and both the production & subsequent sales at that level as again highly doubtful it will take 1200 years to recoup the £ 100,000,000 invested .
Considering that the mystique of the Norton name only exists in a handful of english Speaking countries and nearly all of them have pledged to ban the sales of all petrol powered engined vehicles in the next 20 years , it just does not make the slightest bit of sence .
Same story as the new BSA's but at least the BSA name is known through out SE Asia as there are a lot of ex WWII WM20's still in daily use in SE Asia.


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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
SMELLS
Assuming they £ 10,000 gross profi per bike , and that is very doubful at th estimated output of 8,000 bikes a year and both the production & subsequent sales at that level as again highly doubtful it will take 1200 years to recoup the £ 100,000,000 invested
Norton is only one facet of the TVS "empire", a very well-to-do and profitable concern.

It's quite likely those numbers are totally screwy; but in any case, TVS will make this project profitable, and whatever they invest will have a ROI they can handle.


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A hunderd million pounds would make me pretty perky too.

Last edited by Chip H; 05/14/22 2:19 pm. Reason: speling.
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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
SMELLS
Assuming they £ 10,000 gross profi per bike , and that is very doubful at th estimated output of 8,000 bikes a year and both the production & subsequent sales at that level as again highly doubtful it will take 1200 years to recoup the £ 100,000,000 invested
Norton is only one facet of the TVS "empire", a very well-to-do and profitable concern.

It's quite likely those numbers are totally screwy; but in any case, TVS will make this project profitable, and whatever they invest will have a ROI they can handle.
Still smells funny Paul
You don't run a profitable manufacturing empire by taking on a project that has no chance of ever turning a profit .
This has been born out by the previous atempt to reaunch Norton
Even if the £ 100,000,000 was a 10 times exageration you ar still looking at a payback period of 120 years .
very few businesses would touch anything that has a longer pay back than 10 years.
Look at all of the transport companies Mahindra has bought then dumped a few years latter on when they realized it could never turn a profit sufficient to repay the capital cost .
So unless some one on the TVS is an ardent Norton fanatic and has been pullion one over the rest of the board or it has been bought to shuffle money arounf the planet to play the money market or avoid tax or both .


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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
So unless some one on the TVS is an ardent Norton fanatic and has been pullion one over the rest of the board or it has been bought to shuffle money arounf the planet to play the money market or avoid tax or both .
That may be it. I believe it is a large family, and they recently divided duties/directions of each asset to the individual family members. At least it is my understanding that one family member is heading the Norton project.

I fully believe they will make it work, they are more akin to John Bloor than Stuart the Rip-Off.


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With 100 million quids, even Stuart Garner would have made Norton fly !!!

You could see him scratching around for funds about right from the get-go.
Grand Plans, and next to no moolah to do it with ....

Don't they say it takes about 2 $billions+ to get a new car to market these days.
So even that 100 millions is small beer .. ?
Cars have more to them, of course.

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To make a go they will probably go the route of modern Triumph and BSA. R&D in the UK, manufacture in Asia.

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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
SMELLS
Assuming they £ 10,000 gross profi per bike , and that is very doubful at th estimated output of 8,000 bikes a year and both the production & subsequent sales at that level as again highly doubtful it will take 1200 years to recoup the £ 100,000,000 invested
You've mucked up those pesky zeros again, Trev.

£10,000/bike x 8,000 bikes is £80,000,000/yr. A nice little earner, as Arthur Daley would have said.

Even at a margin of £1,000 / bike, that's still an 8% return.

Agreed, though, that the volumes are likely to be much lower early in the piece, which brings the NPV down considerably.

Last edited by Shane in Oz; 05/16/22 5:38 am. Reason: Corrected Minder quote
Chip H #880790 05/16/22 11:52 pm
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The real question will be...does the world need another motorcycle manufacturer?

I'm happy to see Norton get another life, but with so many established [HD, Jap big 4, Ducati BMW etc etc] and then the 'revivals' [think Triumph, Indian, Royal Enfield, BSA etc} I think it will be a hard road.

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I don't know about this venture, but that's how Italians (Laverda and MV) make great bikes.
They make their profits on other products.
Bloor bought the Triumph factories for property development and decided that he could make a go of producing motorcycles using the modern production techniques which BSA/Triumph should've adopted instead of paying stock dividends.


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Originally Posted by DavidP
Bloor bought the Triumph factories for property development and decided that he could make a go of producing motorcycles using the modern production techniques which BSA/Triumph should've adopted instead of paying stock dividends.
Bloor started production 20 years after BSA went belly-up, so a lot had changed in design and manufacturing capabilities in the meantime. Part of BSA going broke was overcapitalisation on late 1960s modern production techniques without the underlying cash flow to support them or the design changes needed to increase per-employee productivity sufficiently.

Industrial robots, Just in Time, CAD/CAM and many other things we take for granted now were still in the future when BSA started modernising in 1969.

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Originally Posted by htown70
To make a go they will probably go the route of modern Triumph and BSA. R&D in the UK, manufacture in Asia.
TVS ARE Asians. (Asian Indians) no?

Last edited by GrandPaul; 05/17/22 12:24 pm.

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Originally Posted by tridentt150v
The real question will be...does the world need another motorcycle manufacturer?
TVS already IS a well-established motorcycle manufacturer.

They have quite good production numbers, and aren't clueless numpties that will rip off investors (they have their own deep pockets to draw from)


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I realize TVS are Asian. Just saying they will probably follow the model R&D in UK, actual manufacturing in Asia, in their case India. That is if they plan to be more than a boutique brand.

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...many many things in the World were done because some one had the courage and just did it without thinking in the Future. Now all enjoy those things.
If you do that math in most things, actually are not profitable.
What is the point for VW to make Aston Martin? or even less profitable, Lagondas?
Status and that they like cars.
I build surfboards; high end surfboards, and is less money than if I make a normal board; but this is the way surfboards should be.

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Originally Posted by htown70
I realize TVS are Asian. Just saying they will probably follow the model R&D in UK, actual manufacturing in Asia, in their case India. That is if they plan to be more than a boutique brand.
I think they are doing their own R&D in Asia... (but I could be wrong)


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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
Originally Posted by DavidP
Bloor bought the Triumph factories for property development and decided that he could make a go of producing motorcycles using the modern production techniques which BSA/Triumph should've adopted instead of paying stock dividends.
Bloor started production 20 years after BSA went belly-up, so a lot had changed in design and manufacturing capabilities in the meantime. Part of BSA going broke was overcapitalisation on late 1960s modern production techniques without the underlying cash flow to support them or the design changes needed to increase per-employee productivity sufficiently.

Industrial robots, Just in Time, CAD/CAM and many other things we take for granted now were still in the future when BSA started modernising in 1969.
Bloor also used modular construction, a concept which Hele proposed in '65!
BSA might have had the underlying cash flow had they not been paying out all their profits as stock dividends to avoid taxes.


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Originally Posted by DavidP
Bloor also used modular construction, a concept which Hele proposed in '65!
It's a toss-up as to whether that was Doug Hele or Bert Hopwood. Given their positions in the company, it was probably something that Hele ran past Hopwood, who tried to push it.
I dug out my copy of "Whatever Happened to the British motorcycle Industry". The proposed modular range had a lot of features later adopted by Hinkley and other manufacturers, and may well have worked if the company had been well capitalised.

Originally Posted by DavidP
BSA might have had the underlying cash flow had they not been paying out all their profits as stock dividends to avoid taxes.
The UK wasn't a very friendly place for industry at the time. Interestingly, the BSA Group had spent considerable amounts in takeovers and joint ventures to diversify their holdings. Trevor has proposed that these were all in areas which would be vital for the war effort (and profits) if WWIII started, which is not unreasonable.

I think there was also a feeling that motorcycles were for poor people and a few better-off eccentrics, and was a shrinking market with the advent of cheap motor cars (similar to the US motorcycle industry between the Wars)

Anyway, that's strayed off the original topic somewhat. Both Bloor's approach and Royal Enfield's seem to have worked, as have some of the others as offshoots of large companies with related interests. It will be interesting to see what approach is taken with the latest incarnation of Norton.

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Weren't the first Bloor engines developed by Lotus?
These days there are several companies you can just go to
to develop an engine/gearbox assembly for you. Back then
there was not that option really. Bloor also found out that the
original funding was short by 100+% and had to increase it.

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Originally Posted by NickL
Weren't the first Bloor engines developed by Lotus?
These days there are several companies you can just go to
to develop an engine/gearbox assembly for you. Back then
there was not that option really. Bloor also found out that the
original funding was short by 100+% and had to increase it.
I thought Bloor consulted with, and toured the Kawasaki plant extensively?


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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
I thought Bloor consulted with, and toured the Kawasaki plant extensively?
That was apparently for the manufacturing / production aspects, but the first generation Hinkley Triumphs did seem to bear some relationship to Kawasakis.

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