Back in 2022, India-based multinational motorcycle manufacturer TVS made a massive £100-million investment in Norton Motorcycles. Naturally, what does an iconic marque like Norton do with such an influx of capital? It expands, of course, and since then, we've seen Norton make headlines on multiple occasions with innovations and developments here and there, but nothing really explosive for anyone to really say that Norton was back in the mainstream market.
This could all be about to change as TVS ramps up its involvement with Norton. In fact, it's been reported by multiple sources that TVS is developing a new motorcycle range under the Norton brand. A recent article by AutoCar Professional, an automotive publication based out of India, states that TVS Motor Company is developing a new product lineup for Norton, expected for a UK launch by 2026. At present, Norton's lineup consists of the Commando 961, V4SV, and the V4CR, all extremely premium bikes in circulation predominantly in the UK market, although a small number have made it to other markets.
Norton's upcoming product line developed by TVS is said to target the global market in the "super-premium" segment, a category which has witnessed a massive surge in key markets, particularly in Asia. “We need to have a healthy product pipeline. We are now designing and developing, and putting those products in totality and it will take six to eight quarters to start completely realising the benefits of that,” TVS Motor Chief Executive Officer, KN Radhakrishnan, told AutoCar Professional. Indeed, Norton's CEO, Dr. Robert Hentschel, echoed similar statements, emphasizing the need to improve quality when it comes to rolling out new motorcycles.
In an earlier report by Web Bike World, Dr. Hentschel stated, "The supply of some parts, and… the quality was not good enough, so I did not sign it off. I’d rather have a proper quality product here than customer complaints, which we cannot afford at the moment at this point of the journey at Norton." Indeed, Norton's recent past hasn't exactly been blemish-free. However, it seems that TVS' acquisition, as well as the new leadership of Norton, are keen on changing that.
Norton says that it's taking a three-pronged approach with its business plan – fix, build, and fly. The first step entailed fixing the old bikes by re-engineering them and ensuring they meet and go beyond present-day standards. With the build phase now in full swing, Norton expanded its UK dealership network, while at the same time developing new platforms for the global market, something that takes between 24 to 40 months, as explained by Dr. Hentschel.
So, what does this mean for TVS? Well, given the fact that TVS is one of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers in the world in terms of sheer volumes, it's a solid feather on its cap as Norton's bikes will diversify TVS' product offerings to include the premium segment. Indeed, the launch of a TVS-developed range of Norton bikes will be a testament to the engineering and manufacturing capabilities of TVS. As for the specifics surrounding the upcoming Norton models, nothing has been confirmed just yet, and really, anything from performance-oriented sportbikes to go-anywhere adventure bikes could very well be in the pipeline. We'll just have to wait and see.