Norton Motorcycles hasn’t had the best 2020. In late January, the company went into administration, which is British for bankruptcy, and started looking for a potential new owner. However, the prestigious motorcycle brand was mired in a pension scandal and failing to fulfill orders way before the turn of the decade.
After months of speculation and negotiation, India’s TVS Motor Company purchased the iconic English brand for £16M ($20M USD). While the deal took some time to finalize, TVS is wasting none with its Norton turnaround. Fifteen new job postings appeared on the company's website before the ink fully dried on the contract. With roles like senior design engineer, quality manager, purchasing manager, and principle powertrain engineer up for grabs, the new parent company is making a major push toward rescuing Norton’s sullied reputation.
The hiring spree is a welcome sight considering the company only employed 55 workers when TVS took over. Also, the state of the motorcycle industry following COVID-19 outbreaks is fragile and a 27% increase in employment is a good sign for any manufacturer during these times. The most encouraging news is that this wave of recruitment could be the first of many.
In an interview with MCN, Norton’s interim CEO John Russell said, "We have begun the process of planning for the restart of the business and are looking to both fill some existing vacancies and add to the capabilities of the organization."
Of course, the initial positions pertain to development, production, and sales. However, TVS Joint Managing Director Sudarshan Venu noted that the brand plans “to get bikes to people who have paid deposits as soon as possible". That goal will be the impetus for Norton ramping up production and deliveries with enough staff to support the operation.
"The roles we are recruiting are across the organization, engineering, operations, sales, marketing and service,” added Russell. “Initially we are looking to fill around 15 posts and will be looking to further rounds of hiring as we grow Norton to its full potential."
Despite the good news, Norton still has a steep hill to climb. The PR mess and criminal activity aren’t easy to overlook, but with time, the historic British brand may still be able to earn consumers’ trust again—and hiring during an economic crisis is a good place to start.