Mercedes Won't Buy MV Agusta Entirely, and Is Not Looking Forward to Building Motorcycles

Present at the NAIAS 2015, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche talked to the media present at the Detroit show and obviously, questions about the MV Agusta deal have been asked. The Daimler official was quick to provide firm answers in direct words and without the marketing, politically correct BS such top-brass fellows often make use of when they want to swerve past certain sensitive issues. Zetsche said that Mercedes is not planning to take over the house of Schiranna and has no bike-building plans, either.
2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 1 photo
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
A lot of fans panicked when the announcement that Daimler (Mercedes) bought a minority stake in MV Agusta surfaced in late 2014. Obviously, such news is looked at with conspicuous eyes, given all the turmoil most of the Italian motorcycle manufacturers experienced in the past decades, with companies changing hands on multiple occasions, some of them being brought back to the floating line only to sink again and all.

This unrest was amplified by other foreign makers with bases of operations and manufacturing facilities in Italy closing down or relocating, as was the case of Husqvarna after BMW sold it to KTM. Last November, the most vocal of the MV Agusta fans feared that the Germans’ move was only the beginning of a massive takeover and that the Varese bikes would lose their all-Italian character.

“We don’t want to build Mercedes motorcycles”

The Daimler/Mercedes official provided a firm answer saying that the German company has no intentions of increasing its participation in MV Agusta to a dominant position. At the same time he said that no motorcycles will be manufactured under the Mercedes brand name. Even though a part of the deal allows Mercedes to appoint a member in the board of directors, this has nothing to do with the process of motorcycle design and development, Zetsche says.

Mercedes and MV Agusta are already working on a cross-brand marketing strategy, as they believe that the two are complementary. Mercedes will provide MV Agusta with technical expertise but the resulting bikes will be the result of the “Italian genius alone”. “We have no intention to take over MV Agusta, not to start building motorcycles. When it comes to building bikes, MV Agusta is so much better than us,” concluded Zetsche.

After the deal with Mercedes, MV Agusta secured some extra financing from the Banca Popolare di Milano, and this money will fuel Schiranna’s growth efforts on the international markets. We have extensive MV Agusta live photos from EICMA 2014, so make sure to check them out.
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