Getting back on track.
Norton Motorcycles is taking a steady approach under TVS Ownership. After enduring a pension scandal dating back to January 2020, the Indian-owned British brand expanded its workforce and opened preorders for upcoming motorcycles. With model launches on the horizon, TVS moved the recovering marque to a new facility in Solihull, West Midlands just outside of Birmingham.
The 75,000 square-foot factory can be expanded as needed. The warehouse space also features enough modern tools for the company to manufacture 8,000 motorcycles per year. According to Norton CEO John Russell, the new factory is a drastic improvement over the brand’s historic Donington Hall facility.
“The environment people worked in was appalling, it's rare for a country house with a call centre in the garden to turn into a motorcycle factory!” admitted Russell. “So, we had to move and it became an emergency when the COVID arrived since the building did not comply with health rules."
Despite the much-improved working conditions, the new facility is only 37 miles south of its Leicestershire digs; a manageable distance for Norton’s newly expanded workforce.
“We are over 110 people now and we have major capabilities that we did not have before. TVS has big ambitions for Norton,” continued Russell. “They want to make it the brand it should always have been and this can only be done by doing things right, therefore with investment.”
The new facility opened in March 2021, and the brand is focusing on bringing the new Commando 961 to the market in the near future. Of course, Norton can expand to a larger factory down the road, but its main goal is returning to grace.
“TVS has a long history here, they have been dealing with WMG for a long time and Warwick is only half an hour away,” noted Russell. “They rightly see the West Midlands as home to many motorcycle-relevant technology industries. Eventually, we'll need a bigger headquarters, but we needed a place immediately for a significant period of time, time to build the brand, strengthen our production capacity and get Norton back on track.”