MV Agusta Up For Sale!

By Kevin Ash - 19/11/2009

Harley-Davidson is to sell MV Agusta and cease production of Buell motorcycles.

Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson CEOThe US cruiser giant bought MV in July 2008 for €70 million with a view to using the Italian brand to increase the group‘s market share in Europe, but after just 14 months MV is up for sale again. New Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich, who ironically was the man installed by Harley to run MV Agusta initially, is not citing a new strategy as the reason: “Our goal in acquiring MV Agusta last year was to expand our presence in Europe and this was a recognition of the value of MV Agusta. Although growth in Europe and in other global markets remains very important, we believe that focusing solely on the Harley-Davidson brand is the best solution for growth.”

Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson CEO

There‘s no question that financial pressures are also playing a part, as Harley has accrued massive debts through its financial division in the States which made a substantial number of sub-prime loans to buyers of new Harleys - it was the collapse of this financial sector which precipitated the worldwide recession. Major loans from investors of $600 million have still left it $400 million short, and dramatic measures clearly are needed. Harley said after announcing its third quarter results that it expects to make savings of $140 - $150 million a year through this restructuring.

No buyer has yet been found but Harley says it is now looking to find a company well placed to continue the development of MV‘s plans.

Buell meanwhile is not up for sale but motorcycle production at its East Troy plant has been stopped to save costs. No announcement has been made about Buell's future.

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