Russian entrepreneur Timur Sardarov completed his purchase of legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta in September, 2019. The honeymoon phase was cut short, however, when COVID-19 forced production shutdowns in March, 2020. Obstacles have only littered Sardarov’s road plans since then.
From resource shortages to supply chain breakdowns, from the conflict in Ukraine to global inflation, MV Agusta has endured, however. Sardarov doesn’t just want the business to survive, though, he wants it to thrive. To help MV do so, the CEO recently agreed to a strategic partnership with Pierer Mobility Group’s KTM. Sardarov sat down with our colleagues over at Motorcycle.com on November 21, 2022, to talk about the new alliance.
“And so that’s why for me to partner up with a big business, with a big industrial partner like KTM–it makes my life easier,” Sardarov told Motorcycle. “I want to focus on developing the business, on making the company better and more efficient–but it’s very hard to do this when you’re constantly thinking about whether we should ship our wheels from China by plane or by boat!”
Under the new agreement, KTM will oversee MV Agusta’s parts supply. When the assembled motorcycle is ready to hit the showroom, KTM will handle that distribution. In return, KTM now claims 25.1% of the Italian marque following a €30M ($31.1M USD) capital infusion. Two KTM senior management team members also joined MV Agusta’s board of directors as a result. The corporate restructuring may not concern cash-in-hand customers, but the resulting dealership network surely will.
“We’re going to develop a network together, so it’s going to be either multi-brand dealers, or standalone dealers, depending on the country, but it’s definitely going to mean better dealers overall,” revealed Sardarov. “I hope some of our existing dealers will stay with us, because many of them have invested heavily in MV, and I’m really grateful to them for doing so, and I will make sure that they are still part of our family. But some other dealers simply haven’t performed, so we’ll be letting them go.”
Despite KTM seizing a considerable share of responsibilities, Sardarov is adamant that he isn’t angling to sell off MV completely.
“MV Agusta needs to have an individual entrepreneur running it, not the manager [Stefan Pierer] would have to install to run the company for him–he’s much too busy a person to be able to do this himself, even if he’d be well capable of doing so personally.”
For the full post-EICMA 2022 interview with MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov, follow the link in the Sources section (bottom of the page).