Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by jeffdavison, Nov 9, 2011.
Why would Norton need 100 million?
At the time I thought they said it was a Kawasaki engine they emulated.
I don't know, somebody else quoted that figure.
You dont need lots of money to produce a New Norton, just plenty of future investers, the deposit's for one.
Here is how you do it: firstly purchace one of the most well known Names in History..NORTON. Now get some men in to design a new Commando, I bet they queued for miles. Then approach the "parts" makers ,a few wine get togethers and soon lots of "want to be" on the project are pledging a helping hand, Ok a few Quid up front.
Soon we have a New bike ,we a few new bikes...next a big sales pitch and more Norton fans giving deposits pay for the prototypes..next place orders with a 60 day payment plan and we have enough parts to build the first batch.
Then a few quid from Santandar ,a few from complete sales ...presto! we have lift off....But Norton promised a little to much, and to soon, and some trouble with the engine builder ..as Stuart Garner said...He chucked a banana skin and slipped on it...but he just may pull this white rabbit out of the hat :!:
John, the world is littered with failed business startups that tried your plan. The single biggest reason for a new business to fail is lack of capital.
Yes, and the million from Santandar is earmarked for doubling the workforce to 60, making the suppliers happy again, increasing the production facility and ramping up to produce 1000 bikes per year. Augmented by $3000 deposits. I wish him luck. Especially considering that he qualified for the special government backed loan because he couldn't get it elsewhere.
read the Dealer Story here and judge for yourself instead of passing judgement on second hand information..... Read it in it's entirety and with each paragraph, sentance and quote in context with the entire article in light of whom the article was directed towards.
http://www.dealernews.com/dealernews/ar ... ?id=748614
Motorcycling's history is filled with the names of marques that have come and gone — and come back again and then disappear yet again.
And then there are those that never really seem to go away. These are the ones that seem to just hang about, as if suspended in time, surviving on the strength of legend and the dedication of diehard enthusiasts.
Like Norton Motorcycles. It's one of the handful of brands that is synonymous with the word motorcycle. Norton, two short syllables that sound like internal combustion. It's also one of those names you'd expect to see paired with the words "resurrection" or "revival" in a sentence.
But U.K. businessman Stuart Garner is hoping to change all that with a renewed manufacturing effort in Castle Donington, U.K., where he has resurrected (there's that word) the Norton brand and the Commando model name with a lineup that includes three iterations in that range. Earlier this year, the company received a British-government-backed trade loan to help increase production and help benefit its supply chain.
This revival (again) is slowly taking shape here in the United States as its Connecticut-based subsidiary works to solidify a North American dealer operation. Dan Van Epps, Norton Motorcycle USA's CEO (pictured right), says the Brit bike company is focusing on building a network of about 50 profitable dealers over the coming two years.
"Fundamentally, we need to ensure that most U.S. riders have reasonable access to a Norton dealer," says Van Epps, adding that they eventually expect to reach about 15 different markets. "The goal is not quantity, but quality. We want the very best professional, experienced dealers in each market, obviously delivering superior service and support to the Norton owners, who this is all about."
Thus far, Norton USA has seven dealers signed up, and about six more in the pipeline, with the company taking a very methodical and calculated approach to placing more. Why such painstaking steps? Because the success of its dealerships is intricately tied to the future success of reestablishing Norton, Van Epps says.
Yes, a manufacturer has to educate its dealers, but it also has to listen to them, he explains. The dealers are the experts in their markets. A dealer in Dallas is going to best know what products his customers want and how the company can improve its products to satisfy more customers.
Dealerships also have to be profitable in order for the company to be solvent in the current market, he says. And Norton is looking to do things differently both on the manufacturing side and on the dealer-relations end. This includes a lean U.S. management structure and an effort to make sure each dealer has a Norton "specialist" on hand, who knows the brand and its dealer programs backward and forward.
"We looked carefully at the motorcycle business over the last decade and we've seen this universal struggle for motorcycle dealers to remain profitable, or break even, for that matter. Dealers who have been around for 50 years are closing their doors," he says. "We believe that a lot of the current practices are clearly unsustainable for Norton to be profitable in this market.
"We don't seek to produce the volumes of the larger European manufacturers. Our growth plan, infrastructure are calculated to make sure we remain flexible, profitable and able to scale ourselves with the market. Rather than trying to push the market, we want to react to the market. That's the fundamental difference. We're not going to be leaders in absolute volume, we will be leaders in the contribution to our dealer's bottom line."
And that bottom line is contingent on a bike that he says will likely be ready for the U.S. market in the first quarter of 2012 — granted everything goes smoothly during the approval process with the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. The bikes will retail for between $16,000 and about $20,000. Up to this point, the company has focused on delivering bikes in Europe that are Euro III compliant. Van Epps points out that the wait for EPA and CARB approval has allowed the company to fine-tune its U.S. market strategy.
This lineup will include the Commando 961 Cafe Racer and the Commando 961 Sport, both available as single or two-seaters in four color choices — silver, red, yellow and black. Van Epps says the factory can hand-build about 100 bikes a month right now, and can push the production up to 200 a month if necessary.
"Our goal is to sell motorcycles as they're made. I think another component is the value of the bike. By keeping a truly British bike with a high level of quality, the bikes retain value," Van Epps says. "We are at the high end of the market. Our bikes start out at about $16K and go up to about $20K. We don't have plans to build a bike simply at a price point. We build bikes and the price point is whatever comes out of it."
Dealernews asked Van Epps to share more details about the company's volume plans in the U.S., information about efforts to retain dealership profitability, stocking and flooring and Norton's enduring appeal.
Dealernews: What are the plans for U.S. sales volume?
Dan Van Epps: It's important that we understand the volumes we're talking about in the U.S. We figure that the U.S. market will be somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the volume of Norton motorcycles. We never see a day when we exceed 10,000 motorcycles. If you take the number of motorcycles that would end up in the U.S., let's say it's 2,000 to 2,500 motorcycles a few years down the road, and you divide it by the number of dealers we have planned — about 50 — you do a little simple math that our volume per dealer will be very similar to the other European manufacturers [they carry]."
DN: How will the company work to help Norton dealers be profitable?
DVE: The key point is exclusive market areas for the dealers. It seems clear to us that for any given brand, there are too many dealers carrying that same brand in any given market. We want every Norton dealer to have a market that's large enough, that, if they can justify it, aggressively local promotion of Norton and allow them to reap the benefits of those efforts.
With a strictly limited number of dealers, even though Norton total volumes are smaller, each dealer is going to realize sales on par of other brands. Another component of the value of a Norton dealership is control of inventory … the point being that excess inventory, whether in our warehouse or at a dealer's warehouse, erodes margin and depressed prices. Some inventory carrying is of course a reality, but it's our job to manage it intelligently. The day that the average Norton dealer has motorcycles stacked in his warehouse is the day that they'll have to replace me.
The optimum situation will be that a consumer may have to wait a couple of weeks for a bike to arrive. That's great news for everybody. It retains the value of the brand and of the model. The way that we're building bikes, we're hand-building motorcycles in our factory. We don't plan to crank up production based on an Excel spread sheet and push them into the U.S. market, and then find a place for those to go and when they don't go there, with flooring terms and discounts, push into dealer warehouses. That's not our program.
DN: How will Norton USA's stocking/flooring work?
DVE: Each dealer, we want them to display just enough bikes to allow a customer to understand their choices. Each one will also be required and requested to have at least one demo bike, maybe two, in stock. We have some pretty good incentives for them to do that.
We do not want dealers to have stacks of unsold inventory in their warehouse. When that happens, margins erode. And we don't plan to front-load any dealer. The plan is build bikes in Castle Donington, load them in container, ship them to the U.S. and deliver them to customers waiting for motorcycles.
DN: What is the lasting appeal of Norton motorcycles?
DVE: Norton always had this appeal that's kind of hard to describe. I think part of it was the style, part of it the sound. While we might remember all of its streetbikes, Norton has also had a pretty glorious racing history. Norton had a pretty interesting approach to racing in that they made race-specific motorcycles and street-specific motorcycles. The two never really crossbred. That's an interesting approach and it's one that we're embracing also.
If you intermingle designing race bikes and streetbikes, you compromise both. [We have] the approach of using racing to develop ideas and systems and win races, and to keep street motorcycles as sort of a separate entity.
When I started thinking about taking on this task and was talking with Stuart Garner about what we could do and what the structure of the company would be and how we could manage it, I started to look around at what was Norton right now and we looked at this large group of Norton clubs. I was surprised at how strong the Norton owner's clubs are and the number of chapters. There are more than 35 Norton owners' clubs chapters officially in business around the U.S. It was a bit of a shocker, the number of members they have and the level of enthusiasm they have. They've been carrying the flag for Norton for the last 30 years.
I read this earlier tonight, it's just standard-marketing-junk with no ACTUAL information. I wish them all the luck in the world (it appears that they will need it) but I am not holding my breath!
If I were to bet, I'd bet Garner and company went into this venture woefully under capitalized, expecting deposits to carry them through. If so, they stood a better chance of making money buying lottery tickets.
I read every word, in every sentence, in every paragraph, in the light of whom the article was directed towards. It's a Dealer Rag. 'We won't front load you with stock and we'll space the dealers so far apart that every customer as far as the eye can see is going to be your customer with no conflict, (competition for price or availability), with other dealers'.
"The plan is build bikes in Castle Donington, load them in container, ship them to the U.S. and deliver them to customers waiting for motorcycles." As in 'sold' motorcycles? Their present situation isn't an aberration. It's their business plan writ small.
Not sure whether many of those posting on this thread have grasped the fact that Garner has already had 2 of his businesses fail this year, or that unhappy prospective customers have needed to take legal action to get their deposits back?
The amount given to Norton by UK taxpayers was I think £300,000, which I would imagine is just about enough to keep things going for a couple of months.
It seems a real shame that the new venture seems almost certain to fail, but without a substantial injection of cash , then as things are at the moment no amount of ridiculous PR nonsense, is going to help it to survive overcoming major flaws in the basic design which have come about due to lack of any proper R&D, before going into production.
I have got to be honest here, this forum as a number of pretend well wishers,
What we must remember is the Norton owners have endured the early commando failings, sticking with the ups and downes of NORTON ownership....why?
Because the Norton Name , its branded into the very flesh of bikers, its a drug, and our depositers [most] will sit this out.
My friend at work is 100% commited behind his deposit, not complaining or regreting it, He is carried along on the Norton Dream. hopeing one day to park the bike in front of his office window '
It's the Dream of owing a BRAND NEW NORTON that will prevail, it's not Matchless or Bsa ...its the most well known name in motorcycling history..along with Triumph and Harley Davidson ... Ok the baby as fell out of the pram a few times.
As Patrick swayze said "NO ONE PUT's BABY IN THE CORNER" :lol:
Here we go again, if you must post your drivel why don't you get your facts right. Garner has had nothing from the taxpayer, this is a loan from Santander for £625,000, yes it is backed by the government and if he defaults then the taxpayer will pick up the bill if not that amount of credit is available each month. So it may end up costing the taxpayer but not as yet.
What are these major flaws in the basic design? please tell I am sure we would all like to know and from where you are have got this information, I am sure their senior designer that came from Triumph would be interested to know what he got wrong.
I think if they built the bloody motorcycles , the coustomers would come to them .
Once they manadge to do that , f they escalate it to a ' War Footing ' ( Castle Bromich - Spitfire Production Centre = see ' Sigh for a Merlin " )
They can attempt their plan for world domination .
I agree. Problem is, they don't have, nor never did have the M-O-N-E-Y to build the bloody motorcycles.
"...a bike that he says will likely be ready for the U.S. market in the first quarter of 2012..."
Oh, shoot, they've done it again!
There's somebody who has not learned from the past, and is now condemned to repeat it's mistakes.
yup - sounds fitting on so many levels
As 2 of Garners businesses have already failed this year, and the tone of the PR coming from Norton seems pretty desperate then its almost certain that UK taxpayers will pick up the tab when Norton goes down the tubes............but hey as we have already given £100 billion to corrupt bankers, and given Branson £400m in regard to his takeover of Northern Rock, squandering a mere £625 is chicken feed!
As to design flaws, I guess you are happy with your new Norton and have not had any problems? Several people who have been able to get bikes though, are apparently far from happy! Proper motorcycle producers spend enormous sums of money on R&D, and to get everything right first time with next to no R&D budget seems highly unlikely.
Exactly right.............seems weird that several posters on here are quite willing to take ridiculous PR agency nonsense about these bikes as being somehow related to fact!
I agree as well but, again, $1m injection simply isn't enough to do all they need to do (or even what they say they're going to do). Still, one might make the argument that the original Commando hardly had a long and healthy R&D behind it's unveiling. They were lucky to get the paint dried on what was basically a non-working mockup and that project seemed to turn out OK. Of course there's a big difference between the sensation isolastics were in 1967 at Earl's Court, and what the new Norton offers relative to what the competition is today.