Harley buys MV Agusta

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Harley-Davidson.jpgHarley-Davidson has signed “a definitive agreement to purchase the Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group,” according to a press release issued by the company. The deal will become official when it is approved by regulators. Harley is paying $109 million to acquire 100 percent of MV, also absorbing about $70 million in debt. Claudio Castiglioni “will continue in a leadership role as Chairman and will play a major role in future product development. Design Chief Massimo Tamburini will continue his leadership of MV Agusta Group’s world leading sport-bike design studio.”

Harley-Davidson

  • Mindiraser

    Well, today dies an amazing company that has produced some amazing motorcycles. I am sorry to hear they had to sell to a company that knows the least about high end performance.

    Blah

  • http://www.tlzone.net crashtd

    ok universe….you win.

  • dave

    Ducati is next…. Sad day indeed..

  • Michael

    Already the whining has started?
    Castiglioni stays, so does Tamburini.
    Their knowledge and expertise will maintain the brand, quality, performance.

    Without a buyer MV was going down.
    H-D has managed to compete successfully for 105 years. Whether you like their products or not, H-D’s excellent standing in the business world is well secured. MV an amazing company? Certainly beautiful bikes, top notch. But on the business side, they’re in need of help. Hopefully the Castiglioni family will insure the integrity of MV will carry on. But the knee-jerk reactionary sky-is-falling- whining is premture and immature.

  • http://www.tlzone.net crashtd

    Michael, I disagree…i see this as being a major brand dilution for the MV brand. Its the same reason Buell isn’t taken seriously in the streetbike scene, in many riders eyes they are Harleys in sheep’s clothing.

    I can see all the reasons HD would want to make the purchase, but the only one I see for MV is the get out of jail free card.

  • contender

    Maybe John Deer will buy Ferrari. Go America.

  • Ty

    You know that there’s ancient history here, right? Back in the 1970s Harley owned the Italian Aermacchi motorcycle company so Milwaukee could have a line of little bikes. Aermacchi two-stroke twins badged as Harleys even won three 250cc GP road racing titles and a 350 championship, too (R.I.P. Walter Villa). Then, the Castiglioni brothers bought Aermacchi from Harley in 1978 and created the Cagiva deal, which saved Ducati, eventually created the new MV Agusta and more. So now they are going full-circle with Harley buying MV and Cagiva. Give it some time. You never know where things like this lead.

  • Keith

    well… at least we’ll have a clearly defined line for the “good MV Agusta years”

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    I tend to agree with Michael and Ty on this. While we’re not comfortable with the whole buy-a-lifestyle thing, HD’s ability to make money is the envy of many in the motorcycle world. They understand heritage, they understand what there customers want and I think it’s silly to suggest that they don’t understand what makes MV Agusta’s products unique. By Acquiring MV they’ll be looking to diversify their product portfolio and be successful at doing so.

    I, for one, look forward to seeing what Castiglioni and Tamburini are capable of with real funding.

  • http://www.tlzone.net crashtd

    I still have to disagree Wes, Harley, like many American motor brands (exchange this paragraph with names like Ford and GM if you want), has gotten by with marketing themselves as being built in the US of A. Maybe that worked in the 80′s, but each year the japanese have moved more and more into the market. At the end of the day, their under-engineered, under-powered, and over-priced. You can only get by on good graces for so long.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

    No, no, no, I agree with all of that. Here, check this out:

    Harley stories on HFL

    But despite our generally low opinion of the company’s products and marketing practices, they do make a lot of money. All the money that idiots have spent on chrome exhausts and iron cross license plate holders will now be used to revive a really cool Italian company, and we think that’s a good thing.

  • Ty

    Unlike American auto makers, H-D/Buell are not just getting by. They top the U.S. market in the number of new unit sales and have for a few years now. And that’s without dirt bikes, scooters and dual-purpose bikes. And now, by acquiring MV and Cagiva, they have a lot of first-rate engineers and designers at their disposal. H-D has bought itself a bunch of talent. It’s even possible that Erik Buell and his bikes stand to benefit a lot. But, this is all just speculative fun-time. I want to hear from people with skin in the game. Who’s written in here who actually owns an MV Agusta? I want to know in a year or two about the state of their customer service. Can they get parts and accessories they want? Are their dealerships getting better? Are there more dealerships? And are there desirable new MVs to tempt them, and others, into another purchase? Will MV be returning to the racetracks to build on their legend and thus help sell more bikes? That’s what matters and we’ll just have to see. But, did ownership by Texas Pacific Group (out of FORT WORTH) for all those years kill Ducati? That day-glo red bike did pretty well in the German GP yesterday, and they’ve sold a bunch of bikes so far this year.

  • Matthew C. Eliason

    Harley has a ton of capital, that they need to invest, MV is a great investment, the partnership could not be better. The HD network, should increase Amererican Market share, and MV will open doors in europe where HD market share is light. While some compare HD to JD, the market is king.

  • FE

    Harley is saving the marque name of MV Agusta. Still the Harley ‘haters’ find reason to complain. MV is only a name from the 70′s – an entirely different company now with an excellent lineup that is being saved. I own multiples of each … & the worse bike to get parts for are my Ducati’s. The MV’s are still new – so no comment yet.
    The most reliable are my Harleys. Each bike stands on it’s own merits …
    I should think everyone that actually owns motorcycles would be glad to see MV get a chance to go back to racing with the infusion of money – a chance to put the MV Agusta on the podium. Is a Ferrari less a car because Fiat is infusing money into them ? Maseratti ? Just whiners that hate Harley for no good reason complain.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant

    Actually, FE, the MV Agusta marque is significantly older than the seventies. Many of their small displacement sport models from the fifties and sixties are beautiful examples of mid-century Italian style, on par with Mondial, (the acme), Parilla, or Rumi’s more esoteric racers.

  • http://ginglod.com stone blue

    Whats all the worries why dont you cry eye over china buying benelli? MV will not lose its character to black and orange anymore than guzzi did or cagiva to ducati…cry babies! HD needs a euro niche since you wussies all want jap crap…shudapa! yu! mout!